Many people travel to any destination regardless of the structure or accessibility of the location. It’s a privilege that many don’t even realize, but it’s important to remember that it’s not for everyone.
Many people with limited mobility need to make sure the site is accessible before they can visit it, which often means they won’t be able to enjoy the destination at all. That’s why it’s wonderful news that the Acropolis has made some changes to help.
On December 3, 2020, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis inaugurated facilities that have been added to make the site fully accessible to wheelchair users, as well as to accommodate other disabilities. December 3 is International Day of Persons with Disabilities, and it was no accident.
New features designed to help include an elevator located on the north side of the hill. There are also man-made stone tracks that will replace the eroded concrete tracks that previously existed.
The project was funded by the private Onassis Foundation. Mitsotakis said it would help: “make the Acropolis accessible to everyone… without the difficulties associated with the classic route up to Acropolis hill.”
One drawback raised by critics is that the 500-meter network of 13-foot-wide track made excessive use of concrete. The Ministry of Culture retaliated by citing that the old ways involved a lot more concrete than the new ones.
On criticism, the Prime Minister said: “I was saddened to see that over the past few months there has been cheap opposition rhetoric, even on this project. It is a project for the whole world and, under normal circumstances, it should unite us all.
The Acropolis is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so it is imperative that there is access for all who wish to visit. Hopefully this will inspire other tourist attractions to do the same!