Temple of Athena Nike

Athens, Greece

The Temple of Athena Nike on the Acropolis of Athens was named after the Greek goddess. Built around 420 BCE, the temple is the earliest fully Ionic temple on the Acropolis. It was a prominent position on a steep bastion at the south west corner of the Acropolis to the right of the entrance, the Propylaea. In contrast to the Acropolis proper, a walled sanctuary entered through the Propylaea, the Victory Sanctuary was open, entered from the Propylaea's southwest wing and from a narrow stair on the north. The sheer walls of its bastion were protected on the north, west, and south by the Nike Parapet, named for its frieze of Nikai celebrating victory and sacrificing to their patroness, Athena Nike.

In the sixth century BCE a cult of Athena Nike was established and a small temple was built using Mycenaean fortification and Cyclopean masonry. After the temple was demolished by the Persians in 480 BCE a new temple was built over the remains. The new temple construction was underway in 449 BCE and was finished around 420 BCE.

The temple sat untouched until it was demolished in 1686 by the Turks who used the stones to build defences. In 1834 the temple was reconstructed after the independence of Greece. In 1998 the temple was dismantled so that the crumbling concrete floor could be replaced and its frieze was removed and placed in the new Acropolis Museum. The temple is often closed to visitors as work continues. The new museum exhibit consists of fragments of the site before the Persians were thought to have destroyed it in 480 BCE. Sculptures from the friezes have been salvaged such as: deeds of Hercules, statue of Moscophoros, a damaged sculpture of a goddess credited to Praxiteles and the Rampin horseman, as well as epigraphic dedications, decrees, and stelae.

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Acropolis, Athens, Greece
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Founded: 420 BCE
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Greece

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4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Karolina Bak (8 months ago)
A must see in Athens. I recommend buying tickets in advance as you can get a fantastic deal for €30 to see all the most important monuments. We visited during the last week of April so there was no cues or waiting time to enter however, I can imagine this being a case if you're visiting over the summer holidays as we still encountered a lot of tourists. 100% recommend to seeing this place with your own eyes - it is impressive and humbling to see places built by such an iconic, ancient civilization.
Mit Bhavsar (9 months ago)
Great place to visit. Ticket price 10 euro. Avoid visiting in rainy days as marble flooring is slippery.
Herlinda Palacios (10 months ago)
this place has an impressive view, its history is something that the Athenians are proud to have.
Alex Tran (Schimiggy) (16 months ago)
Love visiting here! We went in the summer and it was super hot! Bring an umbrella, wear a hat and drink plenty of water. It's a nice hike up and down the Acropolis. I would definitely do it again! It's so magnificent being able to see ancient structures in the middle of an urban city.
Elena. Blog (17 months ago)
Extraordinary place. Better to visit after 16h and take a bottle of water with you. There is a drinking water available at a small fountain, but it's warm
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