Snow blankets the Acropolis as European colds descends on Athens

Snow blankets the Acropolis as European colds descends on Athens while Northern Europe enjoys unseasonably warm temperatures

  • The Acropolis is dusted with snow as Athens is subjected to a rare cold snap, shutting down parts of the city 
  • Covid-19 vaccinations and some public transport in the Greek capital have been put on hold due to the snow 
  • Children in Athens took the opportunity of schools being closed to ditch online lessons and play in the snow

The Acropolis and other ancient monuments have been blanketed by a thick layer of snow as services across the Greek capital were brought to a halt by extreme weather.

Covid-19 vaccinations and most public transport were brought to a grinding halt as Athens found itself in the middle of heavy snowfall. 

Toppled trees as a result of the snow, which is an unusual sight in the Greek capital, also caused blackouts in several mountainside suburbs of the city. 

The snow arrived as Athens and several other parts of Greece remain in lockdown to curb coronavirus infections. Schools and most stores are closed, and residents must stay indoors during a nightly curfew.

The Acropolis (pictured) and other ancient monuments have been blanketed by a thick layer of snow today as services across the Greek capital were brought to a halt by extreme weather

Covid-19 vaccinations and most public transport were brought to a grinding halt as Athens found itself in the middle of heavy snowfall. Pictured: Snow covers the Acropolis hill today

A group of people brave the cold snap in Athens today to enjoy a snowball fight in view of the ancient Acropolis hill which has been covered in snow

Toppled trees as a result of the snow, which is an unusual sight in the Greek capital, also caused blackouts in several mountainside suburbs of the city. Pictured: A snowman has been built in front of a view of the Parthenon temple atop the Acropolis

Trees in front of the ancient Acropolis hill are covered in a  thick layer of snow – a rare sight in the Greek capital of Athens

The lockdown restrictions didn’t stop some people in the city heading outside to enjoy the snow, with some children skipping online classes, while adults were also seen playing outside.

Norwegian Ambassador Frode Overland Andersen tweeted a video of himself skiing down a hill in the suburb of Filothei with his teenage daughter.

‘Challenge accepted,’ he wrote, after a friend in Oslo challenged him to prove it really was possible to ski in Athens.

Speaking about the snow, the ambassador said: ‘It was the best day at my home office during the lockdown so far. Sadly, my skis took a rather hard beating, so I will be waxing and prepping for next season.’

The Parthenon temple atop the Acropolis hill is seen in the distance between the branches of this snow blanketed tree

The rare cold snap in Athens did not deter people from heading to the beach to enjoy themselves. Pictured: People walk along the beach of Edem in Paleo Faliro, Athens, earlier today

Outside the parliament building, orange-coloured snowplows cleared streets of ice and snow, while presidential guards, dressed in traditional pleated kilts and pompom-tipped shoes, were given heavy woollen overcoats.

Sections of Greece’s main highway were closed, most ferry services to the islands were cancelled, and flights from regional airports to Athens were disrupted.

Fire Service spokesman Vassilis Vathrakoyiannis said the service had received more than 600 calls for assistance in greater Athens.

‘The calls mainly concerned downed trees and transporting people stuck in their vehicles to a safe place, but also to transport kidney dialysis patients to receive treatment,’ he told state TV.

A man stands beneath the Parthenon in Athens earlier today, taking a picture of the ancient structure which has been covered in a layer of snow

With schools closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, many people took the opportunity a little snow provided to head outside and play

A group of people walk their dog along the base of the Acropolis, while another women walks along the path holding up an umbrella

Despite the heavy snowfall in the Greek capital of Athens today, a number of people braved the elements to take their daily exercise

‘Vaccinations have been postponed, but we have helped transport doctors and medical staff where they are needed, and we helped power technicians get to damaged electricity pylons in areas where access was difficult,’ Vathrakoyiannis said.

Power and water cuts were also reported in central Greece. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis met with emergency response leaders to assist residents in blacked-out areas and villages cut off by the snow.

‘We obviously recommend great care be taken in all movement, all unnecessary movement should be avoided,’ Mitsotakis said after the meeting, adding that authorities were doing everything they could to keep the roads open and to restore power to areas without electricity.

‘I think we will all show patience as we deal with a phenomenon that is truly unprecedented,’ he added.

The cold snap, which has already caused snowstorms around much of Europe, has kept temperatures hovering around freezing in Athens today, but they are expected to rise as high as 14 degrees Celsius by Thursday.

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