Acropolis ClassicAthens, Greece
There is a ritual associated with a visit to Athens. First, you enjoy a souvlaki and an authentic Greek salad. And then, as soon as possible, you climb to the Acropolis. There are many superlatives to describe it and it may often feel too familiar or humdrum. But look closely, and you will discover a universe of stories hiding in plain sight.
“Acropolis Classic” combines history, politics, art, religion, and true stories from the daily lives of ancient Athenians to present the Acropolis of Athens and its classical monuments in an entertaining and revealing approach.
1. The great staircaseRight from the get-go the Acropolis offers stories and monuments and lessons in art, strategy, and politics. The path may be slippery but at least you won’t be greeted by a shower of lethal missiles.
2. The PropylaeaWhat did the Parthenon mean to the ancient Greeks? Well, not very much for there are only a handful of references to it. Not so with the Propylaea.
3. Old temple of AthenaThere are many famous stories about the Acropolis during the Persian Wars (the wooden walls, the snake that would not eat his honey cake etc.). And yet they all concern a temple that almost nobody notices.
The right bastion
The great staircaseAs you climb towards the Acropolis you will notice a bastion on your right (atop of which stands the small temple of Athena Nike). There is no corresponding bastion on your left but this is as it should be. This bastion is a reminder of the defensive role of the Acropolis. After all this was a castle and a refuge for the people of Athens in times of danger. Ancient Greeks always fought holding a shield with their left hand and a spear with their right. This means that the right side of any attacker was exposed to missiles hurled by the defender, while the left side was well-protected behind the shield. This bastion allowed the Athenians to attack their enemies with lethal force long before they could hope to reach the gates of the Acropolis.
Hermes by Socrates
The PropylaeaThe Propylaea were full of statues and dedicatory inscriptions. The most notable one was a statue of Hermes which was claimed to be the work of Socrates, the famous philosopher who had been trained as a sculptor next to his father. The most famous decorative feature of the Propylaea, though, was the ceiling. The marble coffers (the sunken panels in the ceiling) were decorated with gold or gilded stars against a blue background. The primary purpose of the coffers was to reduce the overall weight of the ceiling, but the sculptors who worked on them created a spectacular visual decoration that remained unsurpassed in its beauty for centuries.
The flying statue
Old temple of AthenaThis old temple served as the perennial residence of the sacred statue of Goddess Athena. The Athenians believed that the wooden statue had fallen from the sky and spared no expense to demonstrate their piety towards it. The most famous example of their devotion to this old relic was the festival of the Great Panathenaia, forever immortalized in the Parthenon frieze. During the festival, held every four years in the height of summer, the people of Athens formed a grand procession to deliver the peplos, a special robe made by the women of Athens for the wooden statue of Athena.
The team behind the stories at Clio Muse consists of a dedicated long-haired art conservator, an inquisitive bespectacled historian, a passionate feminist curator, and a gifted graphic designer with a permanent tan.
|Starting point||Propylaea, Acropolis hill, Dionysiou Areopagitou, Athina 105 58|
Why take a self-guided tour?
This is a self-guided tour based on the award-winning storytelling concept developed by Clio Muse and the fascinating narratives prepared by our handpicked destination experts.
You can enjoy each multilingual tour by using your smartphone or tablet at your own pace even if you are offline. The interactive map on your screen will guide you step-by-step as you explore all points of interest along your route. Each stop comes with a selection of our signature stories allowing you to tailor the tour experience to your personal interests and schedule.
After downloading Clio Muse app, you can access this tour and activate it any moment you wish and also repeat it any time. To best enjoy our multimedia self-guided tour (comprising maps, video, audio and text) we recommend the use of headphones.
By clicking "Add to cart", you are purchasing this tour in English. This tour is also available in the following languages: Ελληνικά.