The Athens Acropolis, Greece’s main tourist attraction, closed during the hottest hours on Friday and may close again on Saturday as the country withers under the heat.
Access to the UNESCO-listed archaeological site dating back to antiquity was suspended between noon and 5:00 p.m. (0900 GMT and 1400 GMT) before reopening “to protect workers and visitors.” “, the Minister of Culture Lina Mendoni told the public broadcaster ERT.
“There is a high possibility that we will take the same step tomorrow (Saturday),” he said.
Temperatures reached 39 degrees Celsius (102 degrees Fahrenheit) in Athens on Friday, and parts of the country could see highs of up to 44 C on Saturday, according to national weather service EMY.
Other popular tourist sites surrounding the Sacred Rock where the Acropolis stood, such as the Ancient Agora, remain open.
The Acropolis, which has seen a huge increase in the number of visitors in recent months, is usually open from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm daily.
Some tourists are disappointed in front of the closed entrance of the site, saying that the official website does not provide enough information.
“I’m really uncomfortable about this, but what can we do?” said Serbian human resources director Sonya Ivkovic, who plans to return for the opening at 5:00 pm.
“We didn’t expect it, we just came and thought it was open,” Emelie Den, a doctor from Australia, told AFP. “So we were caught off guard but it makes sense, it’s really, really hot today…we’ve been drinking a lot.”
A summer heatwave has hit several Mediterranean countries, with the mercury hitting 42C in parts of northern and western Greece on Friday.
Authorities in recent days have taken steps to help people cope. The Red Cross was deployed to the Acropolis on Thursday to hand out bottles of water and help visitors suffering from the heat.
“We will give at least 30,000 50-cl bottles of water a day,” the president of the Greek Red Cross, Antonios Avgerinos, told AFP.
Shelters were set up near the entrance at the beginning of the week to protect the thousands of spectators who came to admire the Parthenon from the Acropolis.
Authorities have warned of an increased risk of fires, especially in regions where strong winds are expected.
Greece suffered major forest fires in 2021 due to an extreme heatwave that gripped the country.
© 2023 AFP
Citation: Acropolis closes hottest hours amid Greece heatwave (2023, July 15) retrieved 15 July 2023 from https://phys.org/news/2023-07-acropolis-hottest-hours-greece-heatwave .html
This document is subject to copyright. Except for any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without written permission. Content is provided for informational purposes only.