ATHENS — Akropoli and Makrygianni

This is the area around the southern slope of the Acropolis. The area has been renewed since a pedestrian promenade has been built as well as the Akropoli metro station and the new Acropolis Museum. The promenade is lined with graceful buildings and it is a pleasant place to stroll on your way to other sights in the area.

The sights found here are:
Ilias Lalaounis Jewellery Museum
Acropolis Museum
Hadrian’s Arch
Temple of Olympian Zeus

Ilias Lalaounis Jewellery Museum
This museum is dedicated to the jewellery of renowned jeweller, Ilias Lalounis. The jewellery displayed in this museum was inspired by jewellery and decorative arts from various historical eras of Greece. The collection contains over 4,000 pieces. Of special interest is the demonstration of jewellery-making techniques from prehistoric times. As well as the permanent collection there are temporary exhibitions and cultural programmes run by the museum.
For information about the museum visit the website at: http://www.lalaounis-jewelrymuseum.gr/en

Acropolis Museum

Acropolis Museum
This is quite a new museum as it only opened in 2009 and the huge glass and concrete building is just magnificent. The museum has over 4,000 treasures some of which have been stored away for 200 years. The displays are truly wonderful and it is certainly worth visiting. On the lower level there are excavations that are still ongoing that you can observe through the glass windows. There is an ancient Athenian area complete with houses, baths, shops, workshops and roads. The first two upper floors display artefacts, statues and sculptures that used to adorn the sacred rock as well as some from the Temple of Artemis Brauronia. The upper floor is the highlight of the museum and this is the Parthenon gallery. This very special gallery has been rotated off its axis by 23° to mimic the layout of the actual Parthenon. The displays found here are what remains in Greece of the original Parthenon sculptures and frieze. there are 36 of the original 115 panels as well as some plaster casts of the originals that are found in the British Museum in London.
For information about the museum visit the website at: http://www.theacropolismuseum.gr/?la=2

Hadrian’s Arch

Hadrian’s Arch
This Arch was built by the Roman Emperor Hadrian in 132AD as part of the wall separating the old and new cities of Athens. The arch was built over the line of an ancient road that led from the area of the Acropolis and the Athenian Agora to the Olympian and southeast Athens. There are inscriptions on both sides of the arch. The one facing the Acropolis reads This is Athens, the former city of Theseus and the other side reads This is the city of Hadrian and not of Theseus. The 18-metre gate is made of local marble and it is built in the Corinthian style. It is found at the corner of Leoforos Vasilissis Olgas and Leoforos Vasilissis Amalias.

Temple of Olympian Zeus

Temple of Olympian Zeus
This huge temple also known as the Olympeion is the largest one in Greece. It is found on Amalias Avenue about half a kilometre from the Acropolis, in a southeast direction. The temple took around 700 years to build due to lack of funds and lots of different people taking turns to make adjustments to the building. Work began on the temple in 515 BC and the foundations were laid on the site of an earlier temple. The foundations of this earlier temple can still be seen. The Roman Emperor Hadrian finished the building of the temple in 131 AD and dedicated it to Zeus, the king of the gods. he built a huge gold and ivory statue of Zeus as well as one of himself but nothing of the interior of the building can be found today. Fifteen of the original 104, 17-metre-high Corinthian columns are still standing today as well as the one that toppled over in a storm in 1852. The temple was built of local marble and measured 96 metres along the side and 40 metres on the front and back facades.