on February 26, 2010
For years it had been my dream to visit the Acropolis in Greece. Like many people before me, this monument seemed to symbolize the strength and endurance of history. To walk where ancient Greeks like Aristotle ambled so many centuries earlier was simply a magical feeling. What I did not expect was how truly beautiful this site remains all these years later. Not only does it represent the classical spirit of antiquity and the foundation of democracy, the actual structures that remain today convey the architectural beauty imagined by its early artisans.The Acropolis sits high on a rocky hill overlooking the city of Athens. From there, you can see miles of the surrounding area. Likewise, the Acropolis can be seen from most locations within Athens, and it's particularly a beautiful sight at night when the floodlights highlight this great historical temple area. It seems as much a guardian of the city, as Greece is of this historical treasure.What may be surprising to some is that the Acropolis is actually an area of monuments, a series of temple buildings and sculptures, including two amphitheaters and the famous Parthenon or Temple of Athena (which most people think of when they envision the Acropolis). The first building on the site can be dated back to second half of the 5th century BC when, as a result of its location, this area was considered impenetrable from foreign invaders.For many years, reaching the top of this temple area was done by donkeys (as late as the 1970s). Today, there are winding pathways that ascend to the top and a museum down below. Although typically filled with tourists on any day of the year, the area is so large that it is still possible to enjoy the solitude of history by yourself and drink in these amazing monuments.Not all of the sculpture from the Acropolis remains in Athens, however. Lord Elgin of Britain in the early 1800s removed a large part of the Acropolis itself, as well as many of the sculptures of the Parthenon. Today, they reside in the British Museum in London, as do many other important historical antiquities. Still, visiting the Acropolis in Athens is truly one of the most memorable events of my life, and should you be lucky enough to have the opportunity to visit Greece, you must see this UNESCO World Heritage Site for yourself. Words alone cannot do justice to this amazing feat of architecture and history.
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