Acropolis in Athens, Greece

//Acropolis in Athens, Greece
The Acropolis is the supreme expression of the adaptation
of architecture to a natural site.  Towering above a rocky
promontory, it’s visible from all angles in the city of Athens.
Following a victory against the Persians and the establishment
of democracy (wow) , Athens pulled together the best Greek
artists and architects to build a fortress, a symbol of unity and
strength that is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 
Originally built as a military fortress, due to its position
 with view of the land and sea, the Acropolis evolved
 into a religious center, to worship the goddess Athena.
  Armed Greek military still stand guard today.

See the white sections in the columns?  Those are new marble
 filler sections for missing pieces.  A major restoration project
 has been ongoing since 1975.  The goal is to reverse
 the decay of centuries of attrition, pollution, acts of war
 and misguided past restorations.  Current reconstruction
 is being done with titanium dowels, and is completely
 reversible, in case future experts decide to change things.
  Even cleaning technology has evolved – laser impulse
 is now used to clean the 20,000 tons of marble used
 to construct the Acropolis. 
Part of the restoration has been to disassemble and reassemble
marble pieces that were once thought to “fit” in certain places.
Orthographic (from the Greek!  “Orthos” means straight,
 and “graphe” means draw) projection can be used to show
how the pieces should fit together.

Detail from the roof of the Pantheon (one of four buildings
in the Acropolis).  Does it look like there are pieces
missing?  There are!  The British Prime Minister to Greece,
in a (to put it mildly) controversial move, actually hired
 workers to pry off huge sections of the Acropolis,
 which he carted back to London, where they are now
 the pride of the British Museum.  Athens has wanted
 them back ever since they were stolen in 1867.
  Good luck with that.
Beautiful Doric columns, fluted with concave grooves,
represent the pinnacle of classical Greek architecture.

Not your average construction site!  The Acropolis
 Restoration Committee is a joint scholarly supervision
 by 250 experts in archeology, architecture, civil engineering,
 chemical engineering and conservation.

Pericles, arguable the most prominent and influential
 Greek statesman, was a promoter of arts and literature.
  Through his efforts, the Acropolis project began. 
It beautified and protected the city, exhibited its glory
 and gave work to the people.  He said, 
“We live under a form of government which does not
 emulate the institutions of our neighbors.
  On the contrary, we ourselves are the model,
which some follow rather than be the imitators
 of other peoples.  Our government is called a
 democracy, because its administration is in
 the hands not of the few but of the majority.”
 

The Erechtheon, another building at the Acropolis,
 includes the “Porch of the Caryatids (Maidens),
 who seem to be watching over the
 sprawling Athens landscape.

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2017-09-14T09:49:01+00:00May 8th, 2014|Greece|0 Comments

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