For the first time in its long history, stretching back into Greek antiquity, the buildings atop the Acropolis, Athens’ “Holy Mountain,” will become completely accessible to the disabled and those with other mobility and health issues.
Although there has been a type of freight elevator used to help those who were completely disabled to be taken to the top, for the first time, thanks to a complete redesign of the approach to the Acropolis, visitors will soon have a view of the mountain and its monuments that is the same as that seen by the ancient Greeks.
The Greek Ministry of Culture and Sports stated in their announcement today that “Improving the visiting conditions of the monuments at the Acropolis is a priority for the Ministry. With the upgrading works of the services provided in the Acropolis, the Holy Rock becomes — for the first time — completely accessible not only to the disabled, but also to citizens with mobility or other health problems.”
The statement went on to say “The project is expected to be delivered on December 3, 2020, together with the new, safe state-of-the-art slope lift, making he experience of visiting the Acropolis totally different.”
“The work of paving the paths,” the Ministry said, “is not treated as a simple maintenance procedure of the existing network, which was built at least fifty years ago with the construction and scientific criteria of that time.
“It is part of the study for the restoration of the terrain of the ancient sanctuary done by the academic and chairman of the Acropolis Monuments Preservation Committee Manolis Korre, the architect with the most complete knowledge of all the monuments on the Holy Rock.”
The statement concluded “The configurations, horizontally and in terms of elevation, follow the archaeological findings over the years, restoring the ancient route of the Panathinaion Way.
“The visitor will for the first time have the same view that the ancient Athenians had. The Panathinaion road, which starts from the Propylaea and reaches the temple of Rome and Augustus, had been paved with concrete before in 1978 and was paved with the same material several times since then to repair advancing wear.”
Some archaeologists have blasted the decision by the Ministry to undertake the reorientation and paving of the pathways atop the Acropolis.
The Ministry has also released two new videos, showing the paths at the Acropolis throughout the years 1978 – 2020, and the ongoing work which has made the improvements possible.