The Acropolis of Athens is an ancient citadel located on a high rocky hillock above Athens and holds the remains of several ancient monuments of great architectural and historic significance, the most famous being the Parthenon.
Documented evidences suggest that the mount on which the Acropolis is located was inhabited as far as the Neolithic age. A Mycenean palace is said to have stood on the top of the hill during the late Bronze Age, surrounded by a Cyclopean wall as high as 10 m. This massive wall continued to serve as the primary defence of the Acropolis till the 5th Century AD.
During the Archaic period, a temple dedicated to Athena Polias, the Protecting deity of Athens was constructed around 550 BC. This temple came to be known as the Ur-Parthenon (primitive Parthenon). This was the site where the Parthenon stands today. In 520 BC, the Old temple of Athena was built. This temple got destroyed around 405 BC and no mention of it is found in Pausanias’ description of Athens, written in 2nd century AD. The Ur-Parthenon was brought down in around 500 BC to make way for a grander Parthenon, called Pre-Parthenon. This massive building was made of limestone and marble.
Every 4 years, the Athenians celebrated a festival called Panathenaea, a kind of Olympics of that era. During the festival, a procession would travel through the city via the Panathenaic Way, culminating on the Acropolis.
In 480 BC, Persians attacked and sacked Athens. They looted and burnt practically every building in Acropolis and it was not till 460 BC when the Athenians, under the leadership of Pericles started a major rebuilding program. The reconstruction continued for 30 years during which the Parthenon was repaired and the Propylaea and a new Temple of Athena were built. Between 421-406 BC, the monumental temple of Erechtheion was built, a feat in white marble. During the same period, the colossal bronze statue of Athena Promachos was sculpted by Phidias. This was the golden age of Greece and Acropolis was its pinnacle.
The repair and construction of buildings and monuments continued during the Hellenistic and Roman era. During the Byzantine period, Acropolis continued to function as the administrative center of Athens and Parthenon had been converted into a Cathedral by then. Acropolis suffered extensive damage during a siege by the Venetian army during the Morean war of 1687. Parthenon was severely damaged from artillery fire.
In 1975, a major restoration project was taken up at Acropolis, perhaps the greatest after the days of Pericles. The columns of Parthenon colonnade were restored, and many other buildings were repaired. Today, the Acropolis and its monuments are widely regarded as the most prominent symbol of the Greek legacy.
2. Old Temple of Athena
4. Athena Promachos
6. Temple of Athena Nike
12. Altar of Athena
13. Sanctuary of Zeus Polieus
14. Sanctuary of Pandion
15. Odeon of Herodes Atticus
16. Stoa of Eumenes
18. Theatre of Dionysus Eleuthereus
19. Odeon of Pericles
20. Temenos of Dionysus Eleuthereus
|Timing||Summer||Monday||11:00 AM to 7:30 PM|
|Other Days||8:00 AM to 7:30 PM|
|Winter||Daily||8:30 AM to 3:00 PM|
|Entrance Fee||Normal||12 €|