I can’t believe I’ve already been living in Athens for as long as I have. It feels like only yesterday I was living without my suitcase! At the end of two weeks here in Athens, I found it outrageous that I’d yet to have visited the major sites here in Greece! So my roommate Rachel and I decided to take our first free day to pack up for a day of wondering through Athens and going to the Parthenon.
Since I’ve been here before, I’d had an image of what it would feel like walking up to it again. But actually walking up there was unreal. The massive old stones towering over me, everything felt so immense. Even though the place is filled with tourists, everything seemed to go quite when I was looking up at the pillars to this ancient temple dedicated to Athena, to whom the people of Athens dedicated the name of their city.
The view from up above Athens was unreal, not only can you see the Parthenon from all over Athens but you can see all of Athens from the Parthenon. I thought I knew what it looked like for a city to go on forever into the distance, but this does it for me. And of course I had to get that touristy selfie in before I could leave!
Besides the Parthenon, is the Erechtheion. This is another ancient temple that is dedicated to both Athena and Poseidon, and in antiquity was used to house some of Athenians most prized religious items.
On the north side of the building there is the Porch of the Caryatids, caryatids karyatides meaning maidens of Karyai and ancient town that had a temple to my favorite goddess Artemis. Their name is from the young women of Sparta who danced every year in honor of Artemis Karyatis (‘Artemis of the Walnut Tree’)
There are 6 Caryatids, now all the ones that stand in the ruins are casts of the real ones so that museums can keep them intact. These beautiful ladies are missing one sister that lives in the British Museum, and will forever be awaiting her return. Lord Elgin stole this missing sister to decorate his Scottish home and since then it was moved to the British Museum.
Besides these two most famous sights at the Acropolis, there are two theaters, the Theater of Dionysus which I was unable to stop by and see and The Odeon of Herodes Atticus. It was built in 161 AD by Herodes Atticus in memory of his wife.
Just past the exit for the south slope of the Acropolis the is also a beautiful church called the Church of Metamorphosis. It is a beautiful monastery and little Byzantine church like many that can be found through Athens. This church got its name from the story of Jesus finding out he was the son of God.
I can’t wait to get up to Delphi, Mt. Olympus, and other beautiful places in central and northern Greece the next free weekend I have!