National Geographic : 1963 Jul
Acropolis and Mount Lycabettus Rise Like Islands in a Lake of White Buildings "Athens, the eye of Greece, mother of arts and elo quence," floods the Attic plain and thrusts fingers into the blue distance along the slopes of Mounts Pentelicus (left) and Hymettus. Marble, plaster, and whitewash blind the eye at midday. The Acropolis, cleared of the huts of Turkish days, raises in stark splendor the Parthenon and its companion structures that Pericles called "mighty monuments of our power which will 114 make us the wonder of ... succeeding ages." Be low the Acropolis lies Plaka, the old quarter, whose tangled streets and low buildings mark the war-ravaged town of 300 houses that became the capital of liberated Greece in 1834. Nearly all of Athens has risen since that year. Little is old but the ruins. Everywhere machines break ground to house newcomers streaming in to look for work. One Greek in every four lives in the capital, home of nearly two million. "In Greece," an Athenian told the author, "space is small, but the life, it is big."