The Acropolis Museum is an archaeological site-specific museum, housing more than 3.000 famous artefacts from the Athenian Acropolis, the most significant sanctuary of the ancient city. Located in the historical area of Makriyianni, southeast of the Rock of the Acropolis, the Museum narrates the story of life on the Rock from prehistoric times until the end of Antiquity.
From its opening in June 2009 until March 2012 more than 4 million local and foreign visitors have passed through the Museum’s doors. Architect Bernard Tschumi’s new Acropolis Museum replaced the old Museum on the Rock of the Acropolis.
The new museum has a total area of 25,000 square meters, with exhibition space of over 14,000 square meters, approximately ten times the size of the old Museum.
A tailor made museum building with extensive use of glass ensures breathtaking views of the Acropolis, the surrounding historic hills and the modern city of Athens and immediate views of the archaeological excavation that lies below the Museum, visible through large expanses of glass floor.
With the benefit of the changing natural light, visitors can discern and discover the delicate surface variations of the sculptures and select the vantage point from which to observe the exhibits.
The archaeological excavation that lies beneath the Museum provides the opportunity to visitors to appreciate both the masterpieces of the Acropolis in the upper levels of the Museum against the remains of the day to day lives of the people that lived in the shadow of the Acropolis over various periods.
After crossing the ground floor lobby of the Museum, the first collection that lies before the visitor presents finds from the sanctuaries and the settlement which were developed on the slopes of the Acropolis during all historic periods.
On Level One visitors learn about the history of life at the top of the Rock, from the 2nd millennium BC until the end of Antiquity. On Level Three, visitors are afforded the opportunity to view the sculptural decoration of the Parthenon, the most significant temple of the Acropolis.
The Museum provides an increasingly diverse program of activities for its visitors, including the presentation of Museum conservators at work within the galleries – currently the delicate laser cleaning of the famous Caryatid sculptures – 3D projections about the Acropolis in antiquity, gallery talks by Archaeologists-Museum Hosts and family-focused activities aided by backpack materials.
Restaurant, café and Museum shopping is available, as well as quiet reading areas with publications about the Acropolis.