An Ancient Neighborhood With a New (Acropolis) Museum- Athens

October 2, 2010 MuseumChick

So here’s the scoop on the brand spanking new Acropolis Museum in Athens, Greece; it’s well designed, kept beautifully clean, and makes the relatively small collection of ancient Greek artifacts that the Greeks possess (given that most of the best ancient Greek artifacts have been scattered around the world at this point) look bigger and more extensive than it actually is but there are no pictures allowed in the museum (a rule I hate). So, I’ll show you as much as I could get on my recent visit this August, while still respecting the museum’s policies.

The day started at the top of Acropolis Hill. Getting closer to the sun by hiking up this sacred ancient Greek point (no tourist cable cars here) was not the most comfortable way to spend this 100 degree day but I wasn’t in it for comfort, I wanted to see the Parthenon.

Parthenon Athens
On the top of Acropolis Hill I could see my next destination- the new Acropolis Museum. This modern museum (in the center of the picture below) has a top floor that looks like a twisted cap on a bottle from this angle.

The New Acropolis Museum Athens

Flexing my muscles, “The museum is this way, ladies”. Just kidding.

The New Acropolis Museum Athens

The front of the Acropolis Museum invites visitors with a sleek awning and concrete columns. Many columns are displayed throughout the design of the museum, reminiscent of ancient Greek architecture.

The New Acropolis Museum Athens

Through the front windows you can catch a glimpse of the column design inside the museum.

The New Acropolis Museum Athens

One of the coolest and most thoughtful aspects of the design is that the museum is constructed over an archeological dig.

The New Acropolis Museum Athens

Walking over the glass flooring gives you a glimpse of the excavations that are responsible for unveiling the remains of a neighborhood of ancient Athens from as far back as 3000 BC. Archeologists discovered ancient roads, houses, workshops and bathhouses here.

The New Acropolis Museum Athens

The New Acropolis Museum Athens

An pensive, old pentelic marble owl from the 5th century B.C. greets visitors, “Hoot, hoot, no pictures allows, hoot”.

The New Acropolis Museum Athens

Since taking pictures is prohibited, I only got a quick glimpse of the inside for you to see. I snuck in the corner away from the security guards to get a picture of the modern day metal fluted columns that are part of the perimeter design of the museum.

The New Acropolis Museum Athens

This stone with ancient Greek writing, from approximately 376 BC, displays the ancient Greek language that is still close enough to the modern Greek language that it can still be read. Isn’t that amazing, that the alphabet has changed so little in over 2000 years that it can still be read today?!

The New Acropolis Museum Athens

“font-size: 15px;”>After exploring I sat down for my second favorite thing to do (after going to museums of course), eating. The museum cafe has a great view of the nearby Acropolis.

The New Acropolis Museum Athens

And if you can brave the heat, you can sit in the outdoor seating. But I don’t like sweat with my soup, so I just came out afterwards for some pictures.

The New Acropolis Museum Athens

The New Acropolis Museum Athens

The New Acropolis Museum Athens

©2010 Danee Gilmartin All rights reserved

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  1. Christopher Ganiere 11.17.2011

    Thank you for the great review and nice photos.

  2. Alex 03.25.2011

    “the relatively small collection of ancient Greek artifacts that the Greeks possess”

    You can’t be serious about this statement.

    • MuseumChick 03.25.2011

      Actually, I am. I’ve seen bigger and better collections in different museums in other countries. Maybe I’m incorrect about the quantity of their collection but this is not a humor blog- so yes, that statement was a serious opinion.

      • Aleks 05.21.2011

        Can you name a few? Just visited the museum yesterday and found it amazing

        • MuseumChick 05.27.2011

          I find the collection of Greek artifacts at the Louvre and British Museum more extensive. But I do agree with you that it is an amazing space and anyone would be lucky to see it.

  3. milan prodanovic 11.7.2010

    looks like neosocialist realism, something like governmental buildings of Titos New Belgrade architecture,- why not international competition, and some form of critical regionalism as there is so much yelling about "genius loci" and meaning of place in connection with "where are the sculptures".

  4. MuseumChick 10.3.2010

    Hi Vera, Wow a sneak peak preview sounds fantastic! I'm going to check out A Travelers Library for your posts. This topic is always fascinating to me.

  5. Great pictures. We were fortunate to get a sneak preview tour before all the statues were in place. I have done several posts about the museum at A Traveler's Library and advocate all the time for getting the Brits to return their ill-gotten bits of the Parthenon.In this post, you can see a video that was taken at the opening–one way to see the interior if you can't get to Athens.