Acropolis shut down. The Acropolis of Athens, one of the most visited ancient monuments in the world, has shut down on Thursday and will remained shut down on Friday afternoon due to temperatures nearing 44 degrees on the rocky hill under a hot sun, the Greek ministry of Culture announced.
The Acropolis shut is usually open daily for twelve hours, from 08:00 am local time. But because of the high temperatures nearing 44 degrees Celsius, “the acropolis will shut down Thursday between 13:00 (10:00 GMT) and 16:00 local (13:00 GMT)”, according to a statement from the Ministry. The ministry also said that the measure will be renewed Friday in case of similar temperatures.
This is not the first time that the acropolis has shut down due to high temperatures, authorities fearing discomfort among tourists who frequent the Acropolis in this summer. The month of July is particularly hot in Athens.
Depending on the weather, which will exceed 40 degrees Thursday and Friday throughout the country.
In Greece, as in other countries, climate change is causing temperature rises and the spread of forest fires, as well as the degradation of certain ancient monuments.
The term Acropolis comes from the words akra and polis in ancient Greek and means high city, or the highest point of the city. The Acropolis site is located in the center of today’s Athens city, 156 meters above sea level.
During the 13th century BC, at the very top of the hill where the present acropolis stands, was built a gigantic rampart protecting the residence of the king. At that time and in every great city of the country, the king lived always on the highest point of the city, his dwelling being surrounded by dwellings of the lower people and by fortifications allowing him to dominate it and to be protected from invasions.
With the end of the monarchy, in 683 BC, the city was governed for the first time in a democratic way (obviously not the democracy we know today, but the first democratic ideas came at that time.) The center of the city The acropolis becomes a place of worship of the virgin Athena, goddess of fertility and wisdom.
In 490 BC begins construction of the first temple. It will be destroyed 10 years later at the same time as Athens by the Persians. Then comes Pericles, the governor of Athens, who begins without waiting a gigantic plan of re-urbanization, the construction of temples at the top of the acropolis, the temple of Ephaïstos in the commercial city (or agora, today the districts of monastiraki and plaka), and the temple of Poseidon in Sounion. Work on the acropolis continues after the death of Pericles and ends in 404 BC. The four buildings on the acropolis today – all of which are of exceptionally high quality marble – will significantly influence the architecture of the Western world.
During the Byzantine years, the Parthenon (also called Temple of Minerva) became an Orthodox Church. In 1205 AD, Athens passes into the hands of the Christian Romans. The acropolis then becomes a fortress and the Parthenon a Catholic church. In the 15th century, when the Turks invaded Greece, the Parthenon was turned into a mosque. In 1687 Athens was partly destroyed when the Venetians encircled the city and bombed the Parthenon which the Turks had filled with explosive powder.
From 1833 to the present day, the acropolis will remain in the hands of Greece, except during the period of Nazi occupation.
Built in the 5th century BC, the construction of the Parthenon was completed in 432 BC. It is the greatest masterpiece of classical art and the first building of antiquity built entirely of marble. It is also the most copied monument in the world that served as a model for buildings such as the National Assembly of Paris or the Supreme Court of the United States.
In the construction of the Pathenon, no right angle was used. Its structure itself consists of no straight line. The ancient Greeks played on the perspective effects, making the convex lines to reach the perfect harmony to the eye.