The Acropolis, Athens, Greece
Ranked #1 in Greece Tourism
In Athens (the capital of Greece) 150 meters above sea level an amazing proof of once rich and superior ancient culture is situated. The Acropolis of Athens is an ancient complex of several buildings, which now have been recognized as a part of world’s historical heritage and has become a symbol of Athens and Greece in general.
In Greek, acro means edge, but polis-city and word acropolis was used to describe ancient Greek citadels high on the rocks. There were several acropolises in Greece but the one in Athens has become so famous now that is simply called “The Acropolis”.
Buildings & Temples of the Acropolis
It is believed that the area of the hill was first inhabited approx. 4000 years BC and throughout the years it had residential and/ or religious functions. The most significant change in The Acropolis has to be dated the 5th century BC when Pericles, which was a great Greek politician, during his so called ‘Golden Age’ started the construction of the most important buildings – the Parthenon, the Erechtheion, the Temple of Nike and the Propylaea.
The most notable and famous among these buildings is the Parthenon which has now become a world-wide symbol of ancient Greek culture. The Parthenon was a Doric temple for the goddess Athena the Virgin (Parthenos) and was built between 447 and 438 B.C. It used to be a truly magnificent building, which construction was supervised by one of the most famous Greek sculptors – Phidias. In its graceful past times the temple used to shine in the exclusive Pentelic marble but in the center of it the famous sculpture of the Goddess herself used to stand.
Throughout the centuries, parts of the temple have been stolen, removed, sent to the art galleries. It has been bombed, turned into a church, mosque or even a bomb magazine. Nowadays the Greeks are struggling to make the once taken-away parts of the monument brought back home.
The Erechteion – a temple on the north of the hill – is most famous for its Caryatids – columns created as sculptures of females. On the southwest of the entrance, the temple of Athena Nike is located. Built in Ionic order, its relief freeze is decorated with scenes from life of the gods and military life. The Acropolis is open to visitors every day but the archaeological findings of the site are exposed in the Acropolis Museum.