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Acropolis Museum Tour

The Acropolis Museum (Greek: Μουσείο Ακρόπολης, Mouseio Akropolis) is an archaeological museum focused on the findings of the archaeological site of the Acropolis of Athens.

Located in the historic area of Makryianni, the Museum stands about 300 meters southeast of the Parthenon. Its entrance is adjacent to the start of Dionysiou Areopagitou pedestrian walkway, which links it to the Acropolis and other key archeological sites in Athens. The top floor of the Museum, the Parthenon Gallery, offers a panoramic view of the Acropolis and modern Athens.

The Museum’s architecture boldly seeks to maintain, through its highly transparent glass facades, a direct visual connection between its exhibits, the Rock itself and the in-situ Acropolis monuments from which the Museum’s exhibits originate. At the same time, it allows a panoramic view of the historic surrounding hills and mountains of Attica, as well as of the contemporary urban environment. Similarly, glass floors in the Museum’s interior allow the view of the underlying excavated area to be incorporated into its galleries. In this way, the Museum precludes being cut off from its setting – instead becoming a continuation of it and affirming its integral relationship with the ancient Athenian landscape.

Architectural design of the building

Bernard Tschumi Architects, New York

The Museum’s architecture boldly seeks to maintain, through its highly transparent glass facades, a direct visual connection between its exhibits, the Rock itself and the in-situ Acropolis monuments from which the Museum’s exhibits originate. At the same time, it allows a panoramic view of the historic surrounding hills and mountains of Attica, as well as of the contemporary urban environment. Similarly, glass floors in the Museum’s interior allow the view of the underlying excavated area to be incorporated into its galleries. In this way, the Museum precludes being cut off from its setting – instead becoming a continuation of it and affirming its integral relationship with the ancient Athenian landscape.

Hekatompedos
The lioness pediment

The Museum’s exhibition units are mainly topographical and thematic. The first large gallery features a glass-floored ramp that emulates the Acropolis’ slopes and showcases the archaeological discoveries made there. On ascending to the first-floor level, with its initial high ceiling and skylights, one finds displays from the Archaic Acropolis, while in a western section are presented sculptures from the Athena Nike temple and the Erechtheion, as well as architectural members from the Propylaia. The culmination of the Museum’s exhibition plan, the third floor, is devoted exclusively to the sculptures of the Parthenon. The final exhibition unit, reached after returning to the north wing of the first floor, includes works from the 5th cent. BC to the end of antiquity.

Main gallery

Portrait of a ruler

Marble throne


Top floor
Parthenon

The birth of Athena

Athena was born in a rather unusual way. sparinging out from the head of her father, Zeus. According to myth, Zeus swallowed Metis, the goddess of prudence, when she was pregnant with Athena. When it was time for her to give birth, Zeus felt a great pain in his head and order Hephaistus to splay it open with an ax. Then, the goddess Athena sprang out fully armed, before the Olympia gods. The scene, which was portrayed on the eastern pediment of the Parthenon, is now lost. In its reconstruction, one sees Zeus, Athena, Hepaistus and a small winged Nike ready to crown the goddess.

The archaeological site below the museum

Richelle Sibolboro
Richelle Sibolboro

Design strategist and content creator for hire with a passion for arts and culture specifically in design, architecture, and travel. She has produced content for designboom, Azure magazine, Open City Projects, Digifest, and World Design Weeks. Follow her on InstagramYouTube and LinkedIn.

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