Saturday, March 25
The Acropolis Museum is located at the foot of the Acropolis and opened in 2009. Only objects found on the Acropolis are exhibited in the museum. Through the glass facade of the museum building, visitors also have the perfect view of the Acropolis mountain above the city. Since its opening, the museum has won several architectural awards, which is one of the reasons Christoph and I wanted to see the building.
The use of glass as a material runs through the entire museum. As in many places in Athens, ancient ruins were found underground when the museum was built, which is why there are excavation sites under the museum. These are presented to visitors through glass recesses in the floor of the museum building. You basically walk a few meters above the excavation site and you can see a lot of things from above, which is pretty cool.
On the first weekend here in Athens we did a city tour and found out that we would also be in the city on Greek National Day. In addition to various parades in front of Parliament, fireworks and military jets that would fly over the city, there was also free entry to a number of museums that day. Since we had planned to visit the Acropolis Museum anyway, we took advantage of this offer and spent the national holiday in the museum.
In the collection itself, the large marble statues of the Acropolis, some of which are very well preserved, are particularly impressive. The many explanatory texts also give you a good overview of the eventful and long history of the Acropolis and you can thus appreciate the preserved objects and statues even more. The museum’s photo policy is a little confusing though – photography is allowed in some areas, but strictly forbidden in others. It’s not always easy to tell which area you’re in, as the “No Photography” signs are really tiny.
Luckily, my favorite exhibit (a marble lion’s head) was in an area where photos seemed to be allowed. I liked the lion’s head so much that I decided not only to photograph it, but also to draw it in my sketchbook. The great lion’s head was a decoration for the roof of a temple (the Parthenon). A few weeks later, when I had also visited the actual Acropolis above the city, I discovered there, high up on the roof of the Parthenon, the replica of “my” lion’s head from the museum.
All in all, Christoph and I were happy that we first visited the Acropolis Museum and only then the real Acropolis. When we visited the Acropolis, we were able to classify all the temples, buildings and ruins there much better and, because we knew the history, we could appreciate everything we saw even more.