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You are in:  Top  →  Europe  →  GREECE  →  Attika  →  Athens  →  Acropolis Museum

Acropolis Museum

The Acropolis Museum houses priceless finds. If you visit the Museum prior to your walk around the site you will be able to better understand the history and function of the Acropolis, as the most important religious center of the city of Athens.
The Calf Bearer

As of winter 2007/2008 the articles of Acropolis Museum are transported to the newly completed Museum on the South East of the Acropolis hill. Both Museums are currently unavailable for visits. Opening of the new museum is forecast for Autumn 2008.

The Old Acropolis Museum was built on the hill of Acropolis in 1874, before the major excavations by P Kavvadias and G Kawerau, which lasted from 1885 until 1891.

Of the finds yielded by these excavations, only the marble and porous sculptures remained on the Acropolis.

The inscriptions, bronzes, clay objects and a variety of other items are now in the National Archaeological Museum, where they were originally taken for conservation.

The works now on display in the Acropolis Museum fall in two basic categories:

  • Architectural sculptures(pediments, metopes,friezes) from the decoration of buildings.

  • Dedications offered to Athena, the goddess of the sanctuary on the Acropolis.

    Chronologically, these cover the Archaic period (600 - 480 BC), the period of the Severe Style (480 - 450 BC) and the Classical period (450 - 330 BC).

    The museum is separated in eleven different sections.
    Contains marble sculptures of the 5th and 4th century BC, The Prokne of Alkamenes, Head of Alexander the Great, the base of Atarbos, Hermes Propylaios and a relief with a decree containing a treaty between Athens and Samos.
    Room 1
    Sculptures from the decoration of early Archaic buildings (600 - 570 BC). The Hydra Pediment, pediment with a lioness tearing apart a calf and Gorgo.
    Room 2
    Pediments and dedications of the first half of the 6th century (600 - 550 BC). Pediment of the triple bodied monster, pediment with Herakles entering Olympos, a sphinx, the Moshoforos calf bearerr) and the kore with the pomegranate. Clay relief plaques, figurines and busts (protomes) are also displayed.
    Room 3
    Pediment with a lion tearing apart a bull and korai of the island workshops around 570 - 560 BC.
    Room 4
    Archaic dedications of the last quarter of the 6th c 9525 - 500 BC), korai (the Peplos kore, the Maiden of Chios and others). The Rampin Horseman and the Persian Horseman a hunting dog and Athena Endoios.

    Room 5
    Archaic dedications of the last quarter of the 6th century BC, the Gigantomachy pediment and the kore of Antenor.
    Clay pottery figurines from the sanctuary of the Nymph on the south slope of the Acropolis (6th - 5th c BC). Miniature sculpture from the Acropolis (6th c BC).
    Room 6
    Sculptures from the period of the Severe Style (480 - 450 BC), the Kritios boy, the kore of Euthydikos, the Propylaia kore, the Athena Angelitos and the relief of the Pensive Athena.
    Room 7
    Sculptures from the decoration of the Parthenon (444 - 432 BC), Metope 12 from the south side with a Centaur and a Lapith woman. The group of Kekrops, the torso of Poseidon, Illisos and Kallirhoe, from the west pediment. The of Hephaistos and the torso of selene from the east pediment and small models with reconstructions of the pediments.
    Room 8
    The Parthenon frieze (438 - 432 BC), figures from the Erechtheion frieze (410 BC), balustrade with relief figures of Nike from the temple of Athena Nike (420 - 410 BC)
    Room 9
    Caryatids from the south porch of the Erechtheion (420 BC) and the relief with an Athenian triereme.


    "The calf bearer", an exceptionally fine statue of a bearded youth of the 6th century B.C., carrying a calf on his shoulders gift to the goddess Athena.

    The Archaic Kores were statues of young women. offered to Athena over a long period of time. No Kore is similar to another. The difference in the way their hair is set and their dresses pleated, offer one a chance to admire the evolution of the art of sculpture in ancient Greece.

    Parthenon decoration (444-432 B.C.)
    These are the few remains of the masterpiece of all time. See among them a few slabs from the frieze depicting the Olympian gods a few metopes depicting a scene from the Centauromachia and so on.

    These statues of beautiful priestesses were used to support the roof of the south porch of the Erechtheion (420 B.C.). They were probably named after the women of Caryes (an ancient city in Arcadia,Peloponnese), who were supposed to be the models for the statues.

    During the Turkish occupation the Caryatids were called Petrified Princesses or Girls of the Castle.

    Tradition says that when Lord Elgin "abducted" one of the Caryatids together with the other sculptures from the Parthenon, the remaining five used to weep every night for the loss of their sister.

    Crying or not they are magnificent unique and unforgettable.

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