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My Favourite Planet > English > Europe > Greece > Attica > Athens > galleries > Acropolis
to Athens photo galleries main page Athens galleries The Athens Acropolis 2 of 36
The Acropolis and central Athens from Mount Ymittou at My Favourite Planet

The Acropolis and central Athens from Mount Ymittos
A hot late-summer afternoon and Athens' smog cloud, called by Athenians - almost affectionately - "Nefos", filters the view. Some days it is almost impossible to see central Athens from the top of the 1026 metre high Mount Ymittos.

Just about visible to the northwest of the city is the 17.5 km long, 468 metre high Mount Aegaleo (also Aigaleo and Egaleo; Greek, Αιγάλεω Όρος). In 480 BC the Persian king Xerxes set up his throne on the southern end of Aegaleo to watch the naval Battle of Salamis in the straits below. "The height on which the haughty Persian sate," as one 19th century traveller put it. [1]
 
Below are four interactive plans of the Acropolis

Interactive graphic: click on a building to go to its gallery page.

Model reconstruction of the Athenian Acropolis at My Favourite Planet

Reconstruction of the Athenian Acropolis, as it appeared in the
late 5th century BC, following Pericles' rebuilding programme.

Model, wood and cork, 2001, by M. Korres and P. Dimitriadis, Athens.
Altes Museum, Berlin.

This museum model provides a simplified overview of the topography of the Acropolis and the layout of its buildings, based on recent surveys. The number of buildings and statues increased over the centuries, but the exact location, appearance and function of many remains uncertain.

By Roman times the Acropolis had become cluttered with temples and monuments, and during the Byzantine, Frankish and Ottoman eras, churches, chapels and then mosques as well as fortifications, houses and other buildings were added. Following the establishment of the modern Greek state in the mid 19th century, the later buildings were, controversially, removed by archaeologists with the aim of restoring the classical appearance of the citadel.

The model also omits the houses and other buildings of ancient Athens which crowded around the foot of the Acropolis.

The Panathenaic Way, the wide path at the bottom left of the photo, passed through the ancient city to the Acropolis from the Dipylon Gate to the north, veered west, then lead up the ramp to the Propylaia, the gateway to the sacred precincts. Another path, the Peripatos, ran around the foot of the rock.
 
photos and articles:
© David John
Acropolis gallery
photos of the Propylaea, Acropolis, Athens, Greece at My Favourite Planet

Propylaia
 
photos of the Athena Nike Temple, Acropolis, Athens, Greece at My Favourite Planet

Athena Nike
Temple
 
photos of the Parthenon, Acropolis, Athens, Greece at My Favourite Planet

the Parthenon
 
photos of the Erechtheion, Acropolis, Athens, Greece at My Favourite Planet

the Erechtheion
 
photos of the Odeion of Herod Atticus, Acropolis, Athens, Greece at My Favourite Planet

Odeion of
Herod Atticus
 
photos of the Dionysos Theatre, Acropolis, Athens, Greece at My Favourite Planet

Dionysos Theatre
For other features
of the Acropolis see
Gallery contents
 

Interactive graphic: click on a building to go to its gallery page.

Plan of the Athenian Acropolis, after Kaupertu and Kawerau at My Favourite Planet

Plan of the Acropolis by Fritz Baumgarten, after Kaupertu and Kawerau, late 19th century.

Unfortunately, the hatching used to indicate countours and the direction of slopes
make this plan a little difficult to read. See a larger plan, in English below.

Image source: Wilhelm Wägner and Fritz Baumgarten, Hellas, Land und Volk der Alten Griechen.
Verlag von Otto Spamer, Leipzig, 1902. This popular German book about ancient Greece
was published in several editions in the late 19th and early 20th century.
In many editions the text is in the old German Fraktur script, which is also difficult to read.
 

Reconstructed aerial view of the Athens Acropolis during the late Roman period at My Favourite Planet

Reconstructed aerial view of the Acropolis during the late Roman period.

This excellent drawing does not merely attempt to show how the Acropolis may have appeared
at the time, rather it accurately reflects the contemporary state of understanding of its monuments
and topography which had to that point (1895) been revealed by archaeological investigation,
supported by other evidence such as inscriptions and the writings of ancient authors. Archaeology
always was, and remains a marvellous detective mystery and exercise in intricate puzzle-solving.

Illustration by Durm, 1895. Published in Hermann Luckenbach, Die Akropolis von Athen, page 10.
R. Oldenburg, Munich and Berlin, 1905. At Heidelberg University Library.
 

Reconstruction of the west side of the Acropolis, Athens at My Favourite Planet

Reconstruction of the west side of the Acropolis, as it may have looked in the Classical period,
at the end of the 5th century BC, after the building of the Parthenon, the Erechtheion,
the Propylaia and the Temple of Athena Nike.

The colossal statue of Athena Promachos stands guard, just within the monumental Propylaia gateway.

Illustration by F. Thiersch, published in Charlotte M. Yong, A pictorial history of the
world's great nations, from the earliest dates to the present time
, Volume I
,
page 88. Selmar Hess, New York, about 1882. At archive.org.



NOTES

1. Edward Giffard, A short visit to the Ionian Islands, Athens, and the Morea. John Murray, London, 1837.


 
 
 
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Interactive graphic: click on a building to go to its gallery page.  
Reconstruction of the Acropolis, Athens at My Favourite Planet

Reconstruction of the entrance at the west side of the Acropolis, as it may have looked
in the late Roman period, after the building of the Beulé Gate in 280 AD.

The drawing shows the classical monuments, such as the Parthenon, built during the time of Pericles in the 5th century BC, plus later alterations and additions, including the 3rd century BC Roman Beulé Gate (bottom right).

As with many reconstructions of archaeological sites, this is an idealized work based on contemporary opinions on how the Acropolis appeared during a particular epoch. Archaeological evidence on the site is compared with literary, historical and artistic sources, drawings and paintings made by visitors to Athens before damage and alterations of the 17th - 19th centuries, and evidence from similar sites. To the interpretation of this information is often added a pinch of creative imagination - or even fantasy.

Recent research during the continuous restoration work on the Acropolis has been uncovering ever more of the ancient rock's secrets, often turning earlier ideas and theories on their heads.

Image source: Wilhelm Wägner and Fritz Baumgarten, Hellas, Land und Volk der Alten Griechen.
Verlag von Otto Spamer, Leipzig, 1902. Illustration by Friedrich von Thiersch.

 
 

Interactive graphic: click on a building to go to its gallery page.

Plan of the Acropolis by Emery Walker, after J. H. Middleton

Early 20th century plan of the Acropolis by Emery Walker, after J. H. Middleton.

"After J. H. Middleton, by permission of the Hellenic Society and Prof. E. A. Gardner."
 

Idealized view of the Acropolis and Areopagus in Athens by Leo von Klenze at My Favourite Planet

An idealized view of the Acropolis and Areopagus (in the foreground), 1846.
Painting by Leo von Klenze (1784-1864), court architect to King Ludwig I of Bavaria.
Neue Pinakothek, Munich.
Photos, maps and articles: © David John

Additional photos: © Konstanze Gundudis

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See also
The Cheshire Cat Blog
photo essays and articles
about Greece:

Athens (street life)

Athens (Aristotle's Lyceum)

Dion

Kastellorizo

Meteora

Pella

Polygyros

Thessaloniki
 
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The Propylaia - gallery page 6 Athena Nike Temple - gallery page 11 The Parthenon - gallery page 13 The Erechtheion - gallery page 18 Theatre of Dionysos - gallery page 31 Foundations of the Archaic Athena Temple - no link Sanctuary of Brauronian Artemis - no link Colossal statue of Athena Promachos - no link Klepsydra spring - gallery page 5 Southwest corner of the Acropolis - gallery page 31 Klepsydra spring - gallery page 5 The Propylaia - gallery page 6 The Beulé Gate - gallery page 7 The Choragic Monument of Nikias - gallery page 7 Athena Nike Temple - gallery page 11 The Parthenon - gallery page 13 The Erechtheion - gallery page 18 The Odeion of Herodes Atticus - gallery page 32 Theatre of Dionysos - gallery page 31 The Choragic Monument of Thrasyllos - galley page 35 The Stoa of Eumenes - gallery page 33 The Temple of Roma and Augustus - gallery page 17 North-west bastion and terrace - gallery page 5 The Propylaea - gallery page 6 The Beulé Gate - gallery page 7 Stairway and ramp up to the Acropolis - gallery page 8 Cave of Apollo - gallery page 5 Klepsydra spring - gallery page 5 Athena Nike Temple - gallery page 11 The Parthenon - gallery page 13 The Erechtheion - gallery page 18 Retaining wall - no link Colossal statue of Athena Promachos - no link Sanctuary of Brauronian Artemis - no link Klepsydra spring - page 5 The Beulé Gate - page 7 The Propylaia - page 6 The Pedestal of Agrippa - page 9 Athena Nike Temple - page 11 The Erechtheion - page 18 The Parthenon - page 13 Temple of Roma and Augustus - page 17 The Old Acropolis Museum - page 29 The Odeion of Herodes Atticus - page 32 The Choragic Monument of Thrasyllos - page 35 Theatre of Dionysos - page 31