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A tale of two Museums, a big un and a little un

Yesterday I visited two Museums in Athens. I was really excited about visiting the Acropolis Museum because it rates as the #1 attraction on Tripadvisor. It is a new modern building and all of the statues and treasures that were left in the ruined buildings on the rock called the Acropolis were moved here. The first two floors are full of damaged but beautiful remnants from the Parthenon and other Temples from the site. There are a dozen guards on these two floors that will not tolerate any photo taking, so the only views I could take of these floors were from balconies above. They have however done a wonderful job of recreating how the Parthenon would have looked when it was first built in 440BC as a Temple to the Goddess Athena. The floor is built to the same dimensions as the temple and friezes that ran round the upper part of the temple have been reconstructed at a level that is easy to see and appreciate. This was done in part to try to convince the British Museum to return the portions of the frieze called "The Elgin Marbles" which were taken from the site by Lord Elgin and sold to the British Museum in the 19th century. There are spaces in the frieze where these should be, and gaps where pieces have been destroyed over the centuries. The Museum showed a couple of films which made one aware of how glorious the Parthanon was for several centuries, and how even today in it's ruined state it typifies an era when Greek culture was at it's height. Today I visited the site itself and am glad that I saw the Museum first. Anyway it was too hot when I left the museum at 2pm to make the climb up to the top of the Acropolis, so I thought I would try to find the ancient cemetery area, which was supposed to have a nice little airconditioned museum to look around. I almost gave up trying to find it, but got there in the end. I'm glad that I persevered because it was an amazing place, full of lovely things they had excavated from graves in the area. Mainly graves or burial plots that were used over the 1000 years before the birth of Christ. This area was used as a burial ground up to 3000 years BC by people of the iron age, and the numbers are staggering. The first item I saw was a little child's toy horse on wheels, and I thought I was seeing things when the label on it said 900 years BC. The small items in the cabinets were fascinating but the really beautiful items were in the courtyard and passages off it. Starting with a bull, which was so real you could hear it breath, then the life size statues of what were once living people were so beautiful and real it felt humbling to be in their presence. The little Museum really outshone the big un. Back in the real world of sun and sky outside the Museum, it didn't take long for the heat to get to me, so I tried to find my way back to the metro station, home and a well earned cup of tea and a lie down in my room. It was possibly 30 degrees but felt a lot warmer out of the shade...

big new Acropolis Museum

big new Acropolis Museum


entry to Acropolis Museum

entry to Acropolis Museum


Only photo I got on first 2 floors before told NO

Only photo I got on first 2 floors before told NO


totally lifelike and 2200 years old

totally lifelike and 2200 years old


frieze from around top of Parthanon

frieze from around top of Parthanon


section of frieze

section of frieze


another frieze from fight between men and centaurs

another frieze from fight between men and centaurs


model of gable end statue grouping

model of gable end statue grouping


actual piece from that grouping

actual piece from that grouping


and others

and others


second floor where best statues are

second floor where best statues are


model showing caryatids supporting roof

model showing caryatids supporting roof


only view I could photo of  actual caryatids

only view I could photo of actual caryatids


one for the nature lovers

one for the nature lovers


cheeky little Greek church

cheeky little Greek church


Can't find the entrance to the ancient Cemetery

Can't find the entrance to the ancient Cemetery


got into it eventually

got into it eventually


burials along 20km of sacred road for 3000 years

burials along 20km of sacred road for 3000 years


Church attached to cemetery

Church attached to cemetery


one of many burial markers in cemetery

one of many burial markers in cemetery


The 600 BC centrepiece of a burial plot

The 600 BC centrepiece of a burial plot


lifesize burial statue 400 BC

lifesize burial statue 400 BC


800 BC lifesize burial statue

800 BC lifesize burial statue


500 BC Mother and child tombstone

500 BC Mother and child tombstone


400 BC servant and Mistress burial statues

400 BC servant and Mistress burial statues


Lifesize and so lifelike

Lifesize and so lifelike


500BC Pottery

500BC Pottery


same

same


Mourners, I don't think it was YMCA song

Mourners, I don't think it was YMCA song


3000 year old face

3000 year old face


This may have been part of the YMCA set.

This may have been part of the YMCA set.


3000 year old spoon

3000 year old spoon


600 BC child's toy for the afterlife

600 BC child's toy for the afterlife


The weird and the wonderful

The weird and the wonderful


I still haven't seen a unicorn version

I still haven't seen a unicorn version


Sorry the head broke off

Sorry the head broke off


800 BC chooks

800 BC chooks


Maybe horses looked like that in 800BC

Maybe horses looked like that in 800BC


this one looks more horsey

this one looks more horsey


900 BC child's toy horse

900 BC child's toy horse


900 BC gold jewellery and pretty box

900 BC gold jewellery and pretty box

Posted by astrix7 17:00 Archived in Greece

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