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1/13/2009 Athens, Greece

Inside the Parthenon

Imagine if you could have the entire Acropolis for yourself for an afternoon. No tourists. Just you and someone knowledgable walking around and even going behind the scenes, like into the Parthenon itself. Well yesterday it happened to me. My sister-in-law, Pamela Jerome who is a preservation architect and the world's foremost authority on mud-brick architecture invited Andrea and I along for a private tour to see how the restoration work is going. As the last few tourists and the workers were walking down we walked up and entered through the Propylea and I, a mere travel writer, got a tour that some archaeologists dream of by Dr Fani Mallouchou-Tufano, the Head of the Documentation Office at the Acropolis Restoration Service. Since 1977 the interior of the Parthenon has been closed to visitors, first because they were worried about the damage that millions of feet were causing to the ancient stones, and also because inside it is pretty much of a construction site. The last time I walked into the Parthenon was in 1973 and there is a beautiful photo that my father took of my sister in 1963 that gives you an idea of what it was like in the old days. Click to see Parthenon Interior in 1963.

I could also call this page A Dozen or More Things You Probably Didn't Know About the Parthenon because having a guide point out things you would probably not notice on your own opens up a whole new world and it becomes more than just the greatest structure built by modern man. It becomes a living thing. Anyway start with the first photo and click your way through and where necessary I have written some of what I learned yesterday. There is a lot more info and photos of the Acropolis at www.athensguide.com/acropolis.html

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There is a lot more on the Acropolis at www.athensguide.com/acropolis.html

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