The Acropolis: A Hill of Many Histories

Yesterday after work in the Plaka area of Athens, I stepped outside and sensed the clear blue sky beckoning me to an afternoon of exploration. Since Berlin is dark, cold, miserable, and gloomy like...all of the time, the warmth and clear sunny skies of Athens have been a relief on my soul. I looked up toward the Acropolis and saw the contrast of the marble with the blue sky, and with no further delay, I began the climb toward the colossal ancient structure.

After living in Athens before and returning a few times, I realized I have never been to the Parthenon by myself. I don't often travel alone perhaps for safety reasons...or mostly because I thoroughly enjoy company and find selfies to be super awkward. Anyway, finally I had the opportunity to take everything in with as much time and contemplation as I needed. Needless to say, I took a lot of time and did a lot of contemplation. On a clear day, it's hard to fathom the clarity of the surrounding concrete jungle of the Athenian plain.

Upon the Acropolis hill, I experience a journey back in time, but the carnage of centuries of destruction and the explosion caused by a Turkish armory are reminders of the more recent past. Since the Greek independence of 1830, the Acropolis has been stripped of all its oriental features--eliminating everything except the Classical buildings. This remains a large debate in present times. Though Classical age ruins have been used to develop and unify the identity of modern Greece, many significant features of the more recent past have been stripped and are in danger of being forgotten as a part of the history of the modern Greek state.

Thus, the question of the day is: How does a modern nation connect with its ancient past while maintaining the cultural and social constructs and remnants of the more recent past?

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