The New Acropolis Museum, Athens, Greece


A sunset view of The New Acropolis Museum, Athens, Greece, taken from just above the Odeon of Herodes Atticus while walking up the steps to the entrance to the Acropolis


“The monuments of the Acropolis have withstood the ravages of past centuries, both of ancient times and those of the Middle Ages.  Until the 17th century, foreign travelers visiting the monuments depicted the classical buildings as being intact.  This remained the case until the middle of the same century, when the Propylaia was blown up while being used as a gunpowder store.  Thirty years later, the Ottoman occupiers dismantled the neighbouring Temple of Athena Nike to use its materials to strengthen the fortification of the Acropolis.  The most fatal year, however, for the Acropolis, was 1687, when many of the building’s architectural members were blown into the air and fell in heaps around the Hill of the Acropolis, caused by a bomb from the Venetian forces.  Foreign visitors to the Acropolis would search through the rubble and take fragments of the fallen sculptures as their souvenirs.  It was in the 19th century that Lord Elgin removed intact architectural sculptures from the frieze, the metopes and the pediments of the building.  In 1833, the Turkish garrison withdrew from the Acropolis.  Immediately after the founding of the Greek State, discussions about the construction of an Acropolis Museum on the Hill of the Acropolis began.  In 1863, it was decided that the Museum be constructed on a site to the southeast of the Parthenon and foundations were laid on 30 December 1865.” –



The entry to The New Acropolis Museum, Athens, Greece, designed by Bernard Tschumi with Michael Photiadis (of New York/Paris), that opened in 2009, photographed at dusk


By the 1970s it was clear that the second Acropolis Museum (announced in 1888) could no longer cope with the large number of visitors.  Numerous design competitions were held over the next thirty years, with a New Acropolis Museum, designed by Bernard Tschumi with Michael Photiadis (of New York/Paris), opening in 2009.  After our sunset tour of the Acropolis we visited the spectacular New Acropolis Museum.  We all were very impressed with the outstanding architectural design of the new museum and the quality of the permanent exhibitions.  The ancient artifacts, particularly the sculptures, were presented so that visitors could get 360-degree views by walking around them and the documentation was very informative.  The museum was built to house every artifact found on the Acropolis of Athens.  The New Acropolis Museum does a really first-rate presentation of objects from the cradle of democracy.



The glass-floored ground level gallery housing artifacts from the slopes of the Acropolis, The New Acropolis Museum, Athens, Greece; the occasionally transparent floor provides a view of the archaeological excavation (of Roman and Byzantine ruins), while its upward slope alludes to the ascent to the Acropolis



The Archaic (the period throughout the 7th century BC, until the end of the Persian Wars [480/79 BC]) Gallery was designed to enable visitors to have the opportunity to view exhibits from all sides as three-dimensional exhibits, The New Acropolis Museum, Athens, Greece


A close-up of two of the cleaned and restored original five (out of the six) statues of Korai (Caryatids) which supported the roof of the south porch of the Erechtheion temple on the Acropolis [see our previous blog post], 421-415 B.C., The New Acropolis Museum, Athens, Greece


A close-up of the hair of two of the cleaned and restored original five (out of the six) statues of Korai (Caryatids) which supported the roof of the south porch of the Erechtheion temple on the Acropolis, 421-415 B.C., The New Acropolis Museum, Athens, Greece


One of the more creative modern representations of an ancient site that we’ve come across in a museum – the Lego Acropolis (note there’s even a gold and ivory statue of Athena in the center of the Parthenon!), The New Acropolis Museum, Athens, Greece




Reconstruction of the west pediment of the Parthenon according to the drawing of K. Schwerzek (1896), The New Acropolis Museum, Athens, Greece



A wooden model of a mechanical hoist that archaeologists believe may have been used by the Greeks to raise heavy stone pieces into place in the construction of the Parthenon, The New Acropolis Museum, Athens, Greece


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