On the Acropolis: Photographs of summer tourists in the early 1980s by Tod Papageorge

© Tod Papageorge. All images courtesy of the artist and STANLEY/BARKER

You haven't been to Athens unless you've climbed the many steps to see the city's incredible Acropolis in the blazing summer heat. At least, that's our experience of the citadel located on a rocky outcrop above the Greek capital.

In the early 1980s, award-winning American photographer Tod Papageorge spent a month each summer on the Acropolis in Athens, capturing the people who followed the same path, finding their way up to the ancient building to see what all the fuss was about and take photographs to prove they'd been there. His resulting body of work seems lost in time, fusing the ancient with the modern.

"I stayed at a nice hotel, the Zafolia, five minutes from the Acropolis, where every surface in my room was marble, and where I did laps in the pool every evening, driving the hotel staff crazy," Papageorge tells Creative Boom.

"I usually ate lunch at a vegetarian restaurant in the Plaka, right under the Parthenon. I just liked the food. Have no memory at all of where I’d go for dinner. Very solitary the whole time. That was it: up The Hill in the morning, down for lunch, back up for more after that, then a swim and dinner somewhere nearby."

The recipient of two Guggenheim Fellowships and two NEA Visual Artists Fellowships, Papageorge is the author of seven books and from 1979-2013 directed the graduate photography department at the Yale University School of Art. His latest book, On the Acropolis, is published by STANLEY/BARKER.

© Tod Papageorge

© Tod Papageorge

© Tod Papageorge

© Tod Papageorge

© Tod Papageorge

© Tod Papageorge

© Tod Papageorge

© Tod Papageorge

© Tod Papageorge

© Tod Papageorge

© Tod Papageorge

© Tod Papageorge

© Tod Papageorge

© Tod Papageorge

© Tod Papageorge

© Tod Papageorge

© Tod Papageorge

© Tod Papageorge

© Tod Papageorge

© Tod Papageorge

© Tod Papageorge

© Tod Papageorge