Accessibility of People with Disabilities to the Athenian Acropolis
19/11/2010 | 0 comments
Photo: Visiting the Acropolis. by V. Georgaka.
The Athenian Acropolis is 160 m. high and 2500 years old, yet it had remained inaccessible to people with various types of disabilities until the organization of the Paralympics Games 2004.
NOTE: 18 April 2015. The lift/elevator which normally ascends the outer wall of the Acropolis has been out of service recently due to mechanical problems. When the lift service is suspended, (which can also be due to bad weather) there is no access for wheelchair users to the top of the Acropolis. Today the lift is working again. Visitors can check the availability of the lift in advance by calling the 1st Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities, Athens: Telephone: (+30) 210 3214172.
A specially designed elevator, which was placed on the north slope of the Hill, covers a distance of 70 m. from the foot to the top of the site. To further facilitate their access to the elevator, a special separate entrance north of the main entrance to the site, has been constructed, where a van vehicle can transport them to a conveyor platform, which can then transfer both wheelchair and person to the above mentioned elevator.
The rocky surface of the site on top of the Hill rendered it essential for a specially defined path to be constructed which can ensure a smooth tour (photo).
W.C. facilities for people with disabilities are available both on the west slope of the Hill, as well as on the east side of the site, that is on top of the Hill.
On a daily basis the site is visited by 10 people with disabilities on average while during the Paralympics Games 2004, all the above mentioned facilities were used by a total of 3.000 people with disabilities, both athletes and their escorts, a fact which extracted favorable comments.
Vassiliki Georgaka (M.Ed., PhD)
Archaeologist - Curator of the Acropolis Archaeological Site
Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Tourism