Acropolis and the New Acropolis Museum - A Mytho-poetic meeting of modernities

Anna Marie Fisker, Mads Harder Danielsen

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingArticle in proceedingResearchpeer-review


Athens. With its magnificent architecture, legendary cultural attractions and unparalleled place in history, the Greek capital still continues to captivate. No visit to Athens as architects, we agree, is complete without a journey up the hill during sunrise walking on the stairs through the monumental entrance of the Propylaea into Acropolis – the sacred rock of Athens.
In the article titled “Stairways of the Mind” the Scandinavian architect and theorist Juhani Pallasmaa states that the stairway, with its symbolism is one of the most potent images of architecture. In our paper we ask, is there a single modernity – and how critically to assert modernity? Is it possible on the same particular site to talk about modern buildings across cultures and times?
We want to unravel the complex relationship between ancient and modern architecture, have been going up the stairs to Acropolis and the imposing stairway at the “Gallery of the Slopes” in the new Acropolis Museum. Through the lens of Pallasmaa’s theories we also focus on the qualitative differences of ascending and descending the stairs.

Our belief is that buildings should house our souls, memories and dreams, one could say in a Pallasmaa’sk view; with a mytho-poetic content. Pallasmaa asks: “If it is feasible that stairs again will come to express the existence of Heaven and Hell?”. As Dante in the “Divine Comedy” travels through Hell and Heaven in his epic poem seeking a deeper level of allegorically meaning, so do we.
In our paper we will interpret the levels of the stairs and through our Epic we also seek answers connected to the heroic deeds and events significant to the Athenian culture and history. We ask whether Tschumi and Photiadis, in dialogue between the new museum building and the ancient monuments, can re-mythologize and re-poeticize modernity across cultures and times?
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication8th Savannah Symposium : Modernities Across Time and Space
Publication date2013
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventThe 8th Savannah Symposium: MODERNITIES ACROSS TIME AND SPACE: Modernities across Time and Space - Savannah, United States
Duration: 7 Feb 20139 Feb 2013


ConferenceThe 8th Savannah Symposium: MODERNITIES ACROSS TIME AND SPACE
CountryUnited States


  • Acropolis
  • Pallasmaa
  • Mytho-poetic
  • Tschumi


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