Statue of a Kouros. Parian Marble. Found in Merenda, Attica. 540-530 BC. National Archaeological Museum of Athens.
Portrait of Alexander the Great. Acropolis Museum
This sculpture depicts Aphrodite raising her sandal to ward off Pan, with her child Eros hovering between them. National Archaelogical Museum.
Jockey of Artemision in the National Archaeological Museum
MEMORIES OF A GLORIOUS PAST Our guide to the best Athenian museums By LENA CHOURMOUZI
hey hold treasures of unrivalled value and beauty. The capital's museums are mainly scattered around the city centre. Some are brand new, stunning pieces of contemporary architecture, like the light airy glass-and-concrete Acropolis Museum building designed by Swiss architect Bernard Tschumi. Others are bright examples of the imposing neoclassical architecture of the 19th century, like the National Archaeological Museum. They all host a diverse collection of artifacts and finds from antiquity to the Byzantine era till the present time. Always bear in mind that in July and August the mercury can soar to 40°C (over 100°F). So, it's always better to pay your visits in the early hours of the day. You will surely find no queues, and it’s the safest way to avoid getting sunstroke. Bear in mind that opening hours can change without notice. Some museums remain closed either on Mondays or Tuesdays.
34 _ CITY GUIDE summer 2014
HISTORICAL National Archaeological Museum
y far the largest archaeological museum in Greece. A true panorama of Greek civilization from the beginnings of Prehistory to late Antiquity. Since the end of the 19th century it houses and protects antiquities from all over Greece, thus displaying their historical, cultural and artistic value. You will effortlessly spend an entire morning or afternoon wandering its rooms and corridors. The interior is quite spacious and the more than 11,000 exhibits are clearly labelled. Among the biggest crowd pullers is the Gold Mask of Agamemnon unearthed by H. Schliemann in Mycenae. The highlight of the entire collection, however, has to be to the Antikythera Mechanism, an astronomical computer able to predict the movements of stars and planets. Latest additions include a 4th century BC gold funerary wreath and 6th century marble statue of