The Acropolis of Athens and its monuments are universal symbols of the classical spirit and civilization and form the greatest architectural and artistic complex bequeathed by Greek Antiquity to the world. In the second half of the 5th century BC, Athens, following the victory against the Persians and the establishment of democracy, took a leading position amongst the other city-states of the ancient world. In the age that followed, as thought and art flourished, an exceptional group of artists put into effect the ambitious plans of Athenian statesman Pericles and, under the inspired guidance of the sculptor Pheidias, transformed the rocky hill into a unique monument of thought and the arts. The most important monuments were built during that time: the Parthenon, built by Ictinus, the Erechtheon, the Propylaea, the monumental entrance to the Acropolis, designed by Mnesicles and the small temple Athena Nike.

The Acropolis of Athens is the most striking and complete ancient Greek monumental complex still existing in our times. It is situated on a hill of average height (156m) that rises in the basin of Athens. Its overall dimensions are approximately 170 by 350m. The hill is rocky and steep on all sides except for the western side, and has an extensive, nearly flat top. Strong fortification walls have surrounded the summit of the Acropolis for more than 3,300 years.

The first fortification wall was built during the 13th century BC, and surrounded the residence of the local Mycenaean ruler. In the 8th century BC, the Acropolis gradually acquired a religious character with the establishment of the cult of Athena, the city’s patron goddess. The sanctuary reached its peak in the archaic period (mid-6th century to early 5th century BC).

In the 5th century BC, the Athenians, empowered from their victory over the Persians, carried out an ambitious building programme under the leadership of the great statesman Perikles, comprising a large number of monuments including the Parthenon, the Erechtheion, the Propylaia and the temple of Athena Nike. The monuments were developed by an exceptional group of architects (such as Iktinos, Kallikrates, Mnesikles) and sculptors (such as Pheidias, Alkamenes, Agorakritos), who transformed the rocky hill into a unique complex, which heralded the emergence of classical Greek thought and art.

On this hill were born Democracy, Philosophy, Theatre, Freedom of Expression and Speech, which provide to this day the intellectual and spiritual foundation for the contemporary world and its values.

The Acropolis’ monuments, having survived for almost twenty-five centuries through wars, explosions, bombardments, fires, earthquakes, sackings, interventions and alterations, have adapted to different uses and the civilizations, myths and religions that flourished in Greece through time.

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Acropolis, Athens, Greece
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Founded: c. 495-429 BC
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Greece

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4.8/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Carl Sallee (3 months ago)
Absolutely awe inspiring. If you haven't visited them you must. Where comfortable shoes with good traction. The walks are slick
Meditsiinihunt (3 months ago)
While many areas were under construction while I visited, the place will still take your breath away with both its views and a sense of history. Recommended to go some time in the afternoon as queues around midday can be hours long while later on the queue was basically nonexistent
Jennylee mary joseph (14 months ago)
Quite breathtaking. I recommend you go early in the morning or in the evening as in July/August it can get very hot and make the visit a bit difficult. Other than that, beautiful and interesting!
James Minnock (3 years ago)
Something you simply must see. The history of the place and the detail in the information provided is top notch, there are now toilets and a water fountain at the top for refreshments. On the way down make sure you go up Mars Hill to get another great view of the Parthenon
eslam mahgoub (3 years ago)
It was easy the walk up. The information signs up there are not super informative but there are tour guides outside the place or maybe bring your own material. The views was amazing.
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