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Diary entry by Gertrude Bell with pressed flower

Diary entry with pinned pressed flower.

Reference code
Bell, Gertrude Margaret Lowthian
Creation Date
Extent and medium
1 entry plus pressed flower, paper and organic material
Hogarth, D.G.

Sun 5. [5 June 1898] Up at 5, sunrise over the Greek Islands and full
moon setting. Got into the Bay of Athens. The Acropolis from far
away stands right up over the surrounding hillocks and is seen
clearly. Bay of Salamis quite close. Reached Peiraeus [Piraievs] at
8, took a guide, a Greek who had been in the war and hurried off to
Athens [Athinai]. Passed Phaleron now a sommer frische and got to
the Theseus station at 8.30. Temple of Theseus quite perfect with
frieze of battle with the Centaurs; past the Pnyx where the orators'
stone and the amphitheatre are still to be seen, at the foot of the
Acrop. on this side are excavated foundations which they think may
have been the Agora. Three caves in the rocks called Socrates'
prison and Mars hill from whence St Paul preached and finally the
Propyleum. Flight of steps lead up from a comparatively modern
gate to the real entrance, broken pillars and then a wall pierced with 5
great rectangular openings. On one side the exquisite temple of the
Wingless Victory, on the other the chamber of the Pinacothek.
Passed the levelled spot where the great statue of Athena stood; in
front the Parthenon much supported by scaffolding, to the left the
Erechtheion with a row of superb cariatydes [sic]. The great
baseless Doric columns of the Parthenon quite magnificent, whether
upright or lying prone. One Metope preserved, a combat with a
centaur, the scaffolding hid the remaining part of the frieze. Two
figures of the Neptune group still remain. Walked round in the hot sun
and into the Parthenon where a square stone marks the place where
the ivory statue stood (a copy of it is in the Museum but whether of the
time or later no one knows). Half effaced Byzantine frescoes of saints
and the wall of the Turkish mosque and the stairs which led up to the
minaret show through how many hands it has passed. Exquisite white
and yellows of the marble. Lovely view over the Roman theatre and
the theatre of Dionysius Temple of Jupiter, Hymettus [Imittos], and the
brown clean outlines of the hills. Only in the valley a little green and
olive trees. To the Erechtheion, Ionic columns which I don't really like
but exquisite door of Praxiteles decorated in low relief. Down to the
theatre of Dionysius where there is a lovely headless[?] frieze along
the front of the stage. Marble seats of the priests; in the centre that of
the priest of Dionysius and behind it what was probably the base of
the statue of Hadrian. Above two slender columns to carry the
exposed prizes, tripods. Through the arch of Hadrian to the Temple
of Jupiter where there is a wonderful group of Corinthian pillars, very
elaborate. Then to the Museum, 3 Victories like the Louvre Victory in
small; beautiful collection of tombstones; two gold cups, with bulls
tamed and untamed on them. Then back by the Agora, Temple of the
Winds and a Byzantine church to the station where we caught the 11
train and got onto our boat at 11.45. Off soon after 12. A new
passenger, Mr Hoare, who has been digging with Mr Hogarth and Mr
Benson, also the German military attachÈ at Bucarest [Bucuresti] who
has a dog with whom I made friends. Long gossip about Bucarest
with him. Full moon. Piquet with M [Maurice]. As we came out of the
Bay of Athens we passed an exquisite white temple standing on top
of a brown hill. ["Theatre of Dionysius" written by GB alongside
pressed flower attached to page].

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