Greece - Athens Acropolis

by Kimp 24. November 2011 02:43
 
Photo Blog
 
Acropolis means "City at the Extreme" which is always on high ground over looking the city.

Around 7,000 B.C. this was a natural fortress for the people of Athens.

Around 1400 B.C, a  wall was built around it and a kings palace built on it. Along with the palace, a temple dedicated to "Athena Polias" the Protectoress of Athens was erected.

In 500 B.C. the Persians invaded and destroyed everything.

By 450 B.C., the Persian's were driven away and it became strictly a place of worship. The ruins that were on it, were dismantled and were re-purposed for a better wall, then new temples where constructed under the direction of the sculptor Phidias. These honored the Goddess Athena and the God Nike. Athena is the mother of Athens. Nike is the winged god of victory. The Greeks used paid labor instead of slaves to built everything that was here. That's amazing, considering that total cost to build just the Parthenon today, would be over 1 billion dollars.

When it was new, all structures would have been a bleached white color, with its statues and reliefs colorfully painted. Only high priests were allowed to enter the complex. Once every 4 years during the Panathenaic parade, it was open to the public as a festival place, however, the public was never allowed to enter any of the temples.

In 500 A.D., the Christians were in power and they converted the Parthenon, into a christian church. The pagon images where removed and frescoes where painted.

In 1456 A.D., the Turks were in power, and they converted the Parthenon into a mosque.

In 1687 the Venetian Army attacked and the Turks used the Parthenon as an Ammo storage area. The Venetians launched a mortar attack from a nearby hill, at the Turks who were holed up at the Acropolis. One of those mortars hit the wooden roof of the Parthenon, burned through it and ignited the ammunition that was stored inside. The entire complex was subsequently destroyed, and many pieces of the Parthenon were carted off as souvenirs of war. Today there is a full scale reproduction of the Parthenon in Nashville Tennessee (the Athens of the South), that was built in 1897 for its centennial celebration.

There were still some nice statues there, but in 1801, Greece was in terrible financial trouble and decided to sell much of them to Lord Elgin of England. Lord Elgin told the Greeks, that he would give them back, when the Greeks could afford to care for them properly. Recently, Greece built a beautiful museum for them, but they are still in Museums in England and are now called the Elgin Marbles. This has become a big controversy, between the two countries in recent years, with Greece claiming that they were stolen from them.
 

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