Tag: Acropolis (page 2 of 2)

Acropolis Museum turns 5

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Acropolis Museum

Looking toward the Acropolis Museum from a vantage point on the Acropolis itself. Below is a zoom view of the museum, which turns 5 years old on June 20. I shot the photos on June 1 during a weekend visit to Athens.

Acropolis Museum

 

Birthday bargain: If you’re going to be in Athens on June 20, make plans to pay the Acropolis Museum a visit. The beautiful building will mark its fifth anniversary that day, and will be charging a reduced admission fee of only €3 to celebrate the occasion. (That’s two Euros cheaper than the already bargain-priced entrance charge.)

Exhibition areas will be open from 8 a.m. until midnight, so you’ll have plenty of time to drop by and enjoy the museum’s permanent collections as well as its current special exhibition, Archaic Colors.

The museum will be hosting two special events for the big day.  One involves the use of three-dimensional digital image technology to show how copper weapons and bridles would appear on the horsemen on the west frieze of the Parthenon. The second is a 9.30 p.m. concert by musical artist Leon of Athens in the museum’s courtyard entrance.

I described the museum in my March 3 2012 post, Acropolis Museum is a must-see Athens attraction, which includes photos the museum provided of some of the spectacular items in its collection. And in my post Another Acropolis Museum treasure: food earlier this year, I reported that VirtualTourist.com had ranked the Acropolis Museum Restaurant as one of the world’s top 5 museum restaurants.

Below are several more pictures I took of the museum exterior last weekend. (Although photography is permitted in most of its galleries, the Acropolis Museum does not permit media publication of such images, so I didn’t take any shots inside. The wonderful treasures are best viewed in person in any event, so be sure to schedule time to see the museum if you haven’t been there already.)

 Acropolis Museum

A street view of the museum’s eastern facade

  Acropolis Museum

Visitors gather on the museum’s entrance plaza, which overlooks archaeological ruins discovered during construction of the building

 Acropolis Museum

Architectural details on the building’s eastern facade

 Acropolis Museum

A walkway leading to the museum entrance

 Acropolis Museum

Window and facade details on the museum exterior

Acropolis Museum

The museum’s rooftop cafe terrace has views of the Acropolis

 Acropolis Museum

A view of the Acropolis from the museum’s entrance plaza. The large sign on the side of the building at left is a promotional poster for the museum’s Archaic Colors exhibition, running until July 31.

 

Extended opening hours lead to big spike in tourist visits to Greece’s top museums & historic sites

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the Propylaea at the Acropolis in Athens

Tourists climb steps to the Propylaea, the monumental entrance to the Acropolis of Athens, on the morning of Sunday June 1

 

 

Wise move: A decision to extend operating hours for 33 of Greece’s top museums and archaeological site this summer is proving to have been a wise move, sparking a significant surge in the number of visitors to each of the attractions.

As I reported in a March 4 2014 post, the Greek Ministry of Culture recently implemented longer opening hours for nearly three dozen major museums and historic sites, including the Acropolis in Athens and the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion in Crete.  From April 1 to October 31, each of the sites will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day of the week. (Many had previously been closed to the public on Mondays, and were not open for nearly as many hours on other days of the week.)

A May 30 news report on the Greek Travel Pages website says government data for the month of April has shown significant double- and triple-digit increases in visitor numbers and revenue at each of the venues offering extended hours.

 

Ticket sale increases ranged from 14% to 116%

The smallest increase was the 14.12% rise in ticket revenue reported for the Archaeological site of Sounion, while sales of combined entrance passes to a group of central Athens historic sites, including the Acropolis, also hit double digits, climbing by 17%.

The biggest increase in revenue was achieved at the Archaeological Site of Akrotiri, on Santorini, which reported a nearly 116% rise in sales compared to April 2013. The Archaeological Museum of Heraklion posted a 109% increase, while revenues rose slightly more than 100% at the White Tower in the city of Thessaloniki.

I was in Athens from May 30 to June 2 and saw substantially more tourists in the central area of the city than I recall seeing at the same time last year and in 2011 and 2010. In fact, in many parts of the city I heard more people speaking English, Italian and French than I heard speaking Greek. And during my June 1 visit to the Acropolis, visitors from China and Japan almost outnumbered tourists from other countries.

Greece had been anticipating a record 18.5 million visitors for 2014, but the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE) last week predicted that the number will surpass 19 million.

Click here to read a June 3 Globe and Mail newspaper report on Greece’s tourism rebound…it includes comments by the Greek minister of tourism, Olga Kefalogianni.

 

Parthenon and Acropolis

Throngs of tourists explore the area around the Parthenon on June 1.

 

Promotional videos mark a travel milestone — a full century of organized tourism in Greece

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The English-narrated video Greek Tourism. An eternal journey features stunning views of some of the most beautiful and famous sights and attractions in Greece

 

 

Significant Century:  With its long and storied history, Greece has been associated with tourism for what seems like an eternity. Not surprisingly, tourism is the country’s oldest industry.

“The Greek passion for travelling, for both knowledge and adventure, began long ago with Odysseus, the paradigm of the eternal traveller; with Herodotus, the first tourist and most famous story teller; and with Pausaniuas, who wrote the first travel guide 2,000 years ago,” narrator Donald Morgan Nielson notes in the promotional video Greek Tourism: An eternal journey

The five and a half minute film features utterly splendid video photography of spectacular scenery from the Greek mainland and some of the Greek islands, and is accompanied by soaring, uplifting music by Dimitris Papadimitriou. With a script directed by Andonis Theocharis Kioukas, the video was produced by QKas Productions for the Greece National Tourism Organisation (GNTO), and has been posted on the GNTO’s Visit Greece YouTube page.

 

From 10,000 tourists in 1914 to over 17 million in 2014

The video celebrates the 100th anniversary of officially-organized tourism in Greece. Back in 1914, respected Greek statesman Eleftherios Venizelos founded the first national service to oversee Greek tourism. That same year, 10,000 tourists visited the country, and the numbers just kept on growing from theret. They reached record proportions last year, when more than 17 million people visited the country — an all-time high. And even though it’s still early in 2014 and the main summer tourist season hasn’t even begun, Greece appears on track for another banner year.

There was an 8.4% increases in the number of international arrivals at Greek airports in January, February and March compared to the same quarter last year, while travel officials report that summer bookings from major markets like Germany and the USA have risen substantially. And with more than 150 new airline routes operating to Athens this season, along with numerous new international direct flights to Mykonos, Santorini, Crete and other islands, Greece appears likely to top its target of 18 million visitors by the end of the year.

Frankly, I’m surprised the number of visitors isn’t considerably higher. But once more people get to view Greek Tourism: An eternal journey, I’m sure they’ll consider planning trips to see the amazing sights and attractions for themselves.

Below is a slightly shorter version of the video which will let you enjoy Dimitris Papadimitriou’s inspiring music without the narration. Turn up the volume, sit back, and enjoy the 4-minute journey to “Greece … a small piece of heaven on earth.”

 

 

 

Greece’s top museums & archaeological sites to open 12 hours daily from April through October

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Palace of the Grand Masters

The Knights of St John established the magnificent Palace of the Grand Master of Rhodes during the 14th Century. Situated in the medieval city of Rhodes, the palace occupies a site where a Byzantine fortress originally had been built in the 7th Century. The Grand Master’s palace is one of more than 30 major museum and archaeological attractions in Greece that will operate under new extended hours from April 1 to October 31 in 2014.

 

 

Don’t rush: The Greek Ministry of Culture has some good news for travellers who like to take their time while visiting museums and exploring archaeological sites — hours of operation are being extended for more than 30 of the country’s top attractions.

From April 1 until October 31, archaeological sites including Olympia, Delphi, Epidaurus, Mycenae and Mystras, plus the Acropolis in Athens, will be open to the public from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. every day.

The longer opening hours for the historic sites, and for a number of important museums in Athens, Thessaloniki, Heraklion, Rhodes and other locations, were announced this week. They are among a series of initiatives that the Culture Ministry is undertaking to enhance and update the visitor experience in Greece. The other improvements, which will be rolled out later this year, include installation of Wi-Fi networks, the design of mobile virtual tour applications, and the launch of an e-ticketing system for entrance to museums and archaeological sites.

 

Greece anticipates record tourist traffic in 2014

The extended hours couldn’t come at a better time: Greece is expecting a record number of tourist visits in 2014 — over 18.5 million, to be precise.

The longer hours will be particularly appreciated by cruise ship visitors, whose tight time schedules in the past have forced them to rush through major sites, or miss seeing them altogether.

The extended hours apply to a total of 33 sites and museums which account for more than 95 per cent of visits to Greek historical attractions. One of the monuments, the Temple of Poseidon at Sounion, will remain open until sunset each day.

 

Here is the complete list of attractions that will offer longer hours of operation:

 

◊  the archaeological site of the Acropolis, the Theatre of Dionysus and the Ancient Agora in Athens;

◊  the archaeological site of the Temple of Poseidon at Sounion;

◊  the Olympieion — Arch of Hadrian;

◊  the archaeological site of Epidaurus;

◊  the archaeological site of Mycenae;

◊  the archaeological site of Olympia and the archaeological museum at Olympia;

◊  the archaeological site of Delphi and the archaeological museum of Delphi;

◊  the archaeological site of the Royal Tombs of Vergina and the archaeological museum of Vergina;

◊  the archaeological site and museum at Delos island near Mykonos;

◊  the archaeological site of Akrotiri Thera on Santorini;

◊  the archaeological site of Lindos on Rhodes;

◊  the archaeological site of Asklepieio on Kos;

◊  Ancient Kamiros on Rhodes;

◊  the archaeological museum of Rhodes;

◊  the archaeological site of  Knossos on Crete;

◊  the archaeological site of  Phaistos on Crete;

◊  Cave of Psychro on Crete;

◊  the archaeological site of Ancient Corinth;

◊  the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes; 

◊  the Ancient Castle of Kos;

◊  the archaeological site of Mystras;

◊  Spinalonga on Crete;

◊  Corfu Castle;

◊  the archaeological site of Palamidi;

◊  the archaeological museum of Heraklion on Crete;

◊  the archaeological museum of Thessaloniki;

◊  the Byzantine & Christian Museum in Athens;

◊  the National Archaeological Museum in Athens;

◊  the White Tower Museum in Thessaloniki; and

◊  the Museum of Byzantine Culture in Thessaloniki.

 

Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion

The Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion will remain open until sunset each day from April 1 to October 21.

 

 

Another Acropolis Museum treasure: food

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Acropolis Museum

Visitors to the Acropolis Museum Restaurant can enjoy this excellent view of the Parthenon and the Acropolis while they dine, as this image from the museum website demonstrates

 

 

Good eats: Nearly two years ago (in my March 3 2012 post), I described the Acropolis Museum as a “must-see” attraction, both for its magnificent treasures and the museum building’s contemporary architecture.

Now there’s another good reason to visit the museum next time you’re in Athens — to enjoy a memorable meal.

 

Ranked in world’s Top 5 Museum Restaurants

The travel review website VirtualTourist.com has ranked the Acropolis Museum Restaurant as one of the Top 5 Museum Restaurants in the world, along with counterparts in Paris, New York, L.A. and Seattle. 

The top 5 list was reported by the Toronto Star newspaper this week, but I couldn’t find the restaurant rankings on the VirtualTourist site itself. In fact, the search form on the VirtualTourist’s front page doesn’t even work. Anytime I type something into the search field and click the “explore” button, the page goes …. absolutely nowhere.

According to the Toronto Star report, the Acropolis Museum’s “conveniently location” (their words, not mine) less than 1,000 feet from the Acropolis and nearby historic sites “makes it a great place to grab a bite after a long day of exploring the ruins.”

 

Greek breakfast served daily until noon

Situated on the second floor of the Acropolis Museum, the restaurant opens in the morning every day except Monday, serving a traditional Greek breakfast until noon. From then until closing, it offers a selection of hot dishes based upon traditional recipes, and updated according to the season.

Menu items include “Fresh shrimps from Alexandroupoli with ouzo, cherry tomatoes, orzo and red saffron from Kozani, Scaloppini from veal with oregano, lime and seasonal vegetables lightly sautéed, Trachanas from Arachova made by whole meal wheat with mushrooms and crunchy Greek prosciutto and Homemade pasta with minced meat and kefalotiri cheese from Amfilohia,” the museum website says. A special children’s menu also is available.

 

Great spot for a special Friday night dinner

The restaurant remains open until midnight on Friday evenings, giving Athens tourists a perfect place to dine with superb scenery. Besides the wonderful night views of the illuminated Acropolis, diners can enjoy delicious dishes including: “Carpaccio of fresh fish with citrus juice and lime, Smoked veal fillet with truffle oil and dried fruits, Mushrooms millefeuille with smoked cheese from Metsovo and eggplants, Risotto with fresh nettle, truffle flavors and San-Mihali cheese, Veal fillet with porcini sauce, homemade mashed potatoes and onions, Lemon tart and homemade Orange pie.”

Reservations are strongly recommended for the Friday night dinners. But there is a special dining area that offers cold dishes and desserts for guests who don’t want to reserve a dinner seating, but still want a light bite to eat. Another dining alternative is the café on the museum’s ground level, where visitors can order from a selection of light fare including salads, soups, snacks and desserts.

 

Huge terrace offers prime views of the Acropolis

Besides its interior dining space, the Acropolis Museum restaurant provides seating on a huge 700-square-meter outdoor terrace that offers superb, unobstructed view of the Acropolis. Below are some photos we shot from the terrace during our museum visit in May 2010.

 

Acropolis Museum restaurant

The Acropolis Museum restaurant has a 700-square-meter outdoor dining terrace offering superb views of the Acropolis (top left)

 

 

cropolis Museum restaurant

Restaurant terrace view of the Parthenon atop the Acropolis. You can take a stroll on the terrace to enjoy the views even if you don’t plan to dine in the restaurant.

 

 

The Parthenon and the Acropolis, as viewed from the outdoor restaurant terrace at the Acropolis Museum

The restaurant terrace view of the magnificent Parthenon and Acropolis. Click on the image to view a full-size photo.

 

Pic of the day: Monumental views in Athens

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Temple of Olympian Zeus view toward the Parthenon and Acropolis in Central Athens

The grounds around the Temple of Olympian Zeus offer views toward the Parthenon and the Acropolis about 500 meters away in Central Athens

 

Pic of the day: The Odeon of Herodes Atticus

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 Odeon of Herodes Atticus

The city of Athens fans outward from The Odeon of Herodes Atticus theatre, situated on the south side of the Acropolis. Originally built in 161 AD, the venue had a wooden roof and could seat 5,000 people for music concerts. The seating and stage areas were renovated in the 1950s, and the open-air theatre now hosts theatre, music and dance performances for the annual Athens  & Epidaurus Festival, which runs between June and September.

 

 

Acropolis Museum is a must-see Athens attraction

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Acropolis Museum in Athens

This photograph by Nikos Daniilidis offers a superb daytime view of angled wall segments on the eastern facade of the Acropolis Museum

 

 Acropolis Museum in Athens

… while this photo, also by Nikos Daniilidis, shows the building at dusk. More than 1.3 million people (including us!) visited the Acropolis Museum between June 2010 and May 2011


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