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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 7 of 36
The stairway up to the Propylaea on the Acropolis, Athens, Greece at My Favourite Planet

Visitors to the Acropolis on the Roman period stairway up to the Propylaia.
The stairway up to the Propylaia
"Let us ascend... to the Acropolis itself, that from our survey all the city and the objects within it may at once be in plain sight."

Lucian, Fisherman, 15.

The western entrance to the Acropolis is the least steep approach, and the late Archaic ramp here was eventually widened during Classical times. Around 52 AD, during the reign of Emperor Claudius (41-54 AD), this was replaced with a grand marble stairway, along the centre of which ran a ramp for leading sacrificial animals up to the sacred precincts (see the illustration on gallery page 6). The stairway was first reconstructed in the 19th century after archaeologists had cleared the way of centuries of accumulated rubble and later defence works.

By the time many visitors get this far, they have usually already walked around the Plaka and through the new Acropolis Museum, and are probably already thinking about lunch. So it's no wonder that some of them take a rest and sit on the steps to take a breath, rest their feet and enjoy the view, while the younger ones take snapshots of each other.

Most visitors seem suitably impressed by the wonders of the Acropolis, but not all are discussing the masterpieces of Pheidias & Co. On my last visit, a young American was describing to his friend, who had apparently been hopping around the Greek islands and away from "civilization" for a while, the intricate details of the latest episodes of their favourite TV series and the nefarious doings of all the various characters.

"If Athens town you never have seen,
you're a fool; but if you have been
and are not taken with it, you're a jackass;
And if you're glad to leave it, a packass."

Lysippus (flourished around 434 BC), Arcadian comic poet of the Old Comedy.

Tourist reading a guide book on the Acropolis, Athens at My Favourite Planet

"It looks bigger in this photo."
See a plan of the entrance to the Acropolis on gallery page 10

See plans of the entrance to
the Acropolis, with the Beulé
Gate, the Propylaia, the Temple
of Athena Nike, the Pedestal
of Agrippa and the top of the
stairway to the Klepsydra,
on gallery page 10.
The Roman stairway up to the Propylaia of the Acropolis, Athens, Greece at My Favourite Planet

The Roman stairway up to the Propylaia, the monumental 5th century BC
gateway to the Acropolis. The central gateway of the Propylaia is covered
with scaffolding during its latest restoration.
Evzones climbing up to the Acropolis, Athens, Greece at My Favourite Planet

Strange goings-on at the Acropolis

Men in traditional Greek costumes accompanied by a band in uniform climb to the Propylaia of the Acropolis one fine evening. Visitors may quite understandably ask what is going here? Is this a rehearsal for some big public event, a private VIP folkdance performance or a film shoot?

The Evzones and military musicians arrive here every evening, just before the closing of the Acropolis, around sunset, for a ceremonial lowering of the Greek flag on the eastern end of the rock. The ceremony has in itself recently become a tourist attraction.
Evzones on the Acropolis, Athens at My Favourite Planet

Fustinellas on the Acropolis
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Evzones walking from the Propylaia for the daily ceremonial lowering of the Greek flag on the Acropolis at My Favourite Planet

Evzones walking in single file from the Propylaia for the daily ceremonial
lowering of the Greek flag on the eastern end of the Acropolis.
Photos, illustrations, maps and articles: © David John,
except where otherwise specified.

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)






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