The above is of course the Parthenon. It sits atop the Acropolis, which is the second highest hill (the highest was too small) in Athens and is visible from just about anywhere in the city. I always think of it as the birthplace of Democracy. You can always discover the history of this building yourself, and probably had to learn about it in school, so I will not bore you here.
But look at it. It is iconic, and it may be the most architecturally replicated building in the world. Every thing from the US Capitol building to the Peoria library have used pillars like these to pay homage.
This building is in perpetual restoration. No one has a schedule. It will be done when it is done. Will it then be a complete building? No one seems to know this either.
This temple has a wonderful story to be told, but not here. Sorry. I will however say that those four ladies on the side of it are reproductions. Three of them are in a wonderful museum situated below the Acropolis. They are under careful restoration. Up close they are really beautiful. The fourth was stolen way back by some Brit who though it would look better in his garden.
Visiting the museum is an absolutely essential part of a visit to the Acropolis. We did it afterwards, some people say to do it before. Either way you get a much more explicit understanding of the culture and art of ancient Greece.
It is a monumental gateway resembling – in some respects – a Roman triumphal arch. It was most probably built to celebrate the arrival of the Roman Emperor Hadrian. Those early tourists really had it made. I mean there is no Arch of Forrest anywhere I have ever been.
This is just a bit of a large complex, but it is the best preserved part. If Zeus ever comes back, I think he will be a bit perturbed that his temple has not been better taken care of. After all he was known as the king of the gods. He could make thunderbolts go places you do not want them to go. While I was there, I think he sent one to my spine because I could hardly walk away for some reason. I should not have mocked the unkept status of his temple. I caught a cab for the two block trip back to my hotel, where I had a therapeutic massage. The masseuse asked me if I knew my back was out of alignment. I have had the same spine for sixty years now, so I blame Zeus.
Next post, a couple of absolutely marvelous Greek Isles. Stay tuned. Share with a friend. Do not be shy, make a comment or I will tell Zeus!