Acropolis, Athens Akrópoli
A great crag of limestone rising out of the plain of Attica offered a site well adapted for the Acropolis, the fortified citadel of Athens. At first it served both as the stronghold of the kings of Athens and as the site of the city's oldest shrines; later it was reserved for the service of the divinities of Athens alone.This religious center of ancient Athens, which received its classical form in the time of Pericles, thus reflected the humane values of Greek culture and thoughts which have retained their power down to our own day.
Opening hours: Apr 1 to Oct 31: 8am-7:30pm
Nov 1 to Mar 31: 8:30am-3pm
Nov 1 to Mar 31: 8:30am-3pm
Always opened on: Assumption Day - Christian (Aug 15), Óhi Day - Greece & Cyprus (Oct 28)
Always closed on: New Year's Day (Jan 1), May Day / Labor Day (May 1), Day after Christmas, St Stephen's Day, Boxing Day (Dec 26), Christmas - Christian (Dec 25), Good Friday - Christian, Easter - Christian
Entrance fee: Adult Admission Cost, Concession or reduced rate Discount, Students from EU Free, Child 18 & under Free
Useful tips: Admission is free on Sundays from November to March.
Transit: Bus: 230 from Theseion.
The Acropolis Museum is world renowned for its incredible collection of Greek art. On display here are all kinds of finds from the site, with artifacts from the 6th C B.C., to fine Classical period sculptures.
The Propylaia, at the entrance to the Acropolis, dates to the 5th C B.C. It was used as a residence for rulers from the 13th C onwards.
The Belvedere terrace at the northeast corner of the Acropolis was laid out for the royal family in the 19th century, and affords a good view of the city looking towards Syàntagma Square and the Old Palace.
House of Arrhephoroi
The House of Arrhephoroi, a rectangular structure built against the north wall of the Acropolis with a porch and a courtyard to the left, was occupied by four girls between the ages of seven and eleven from the noblest families in Athens who assisted the priestess of Athena in serving the goddess.One of their duties was to make the new peplos worn by Athena at each four-yearly celebration of the Panathenaic festival.From the courtyard a flight of steps led down through a gate in the outer wall of the Acropolis and a rock-cut passage to the sanctuary of Eros and the Cave of Aglauros, from which the Arrhephoroi had to fetch some secret cult objects (hence their name, "bearers of holy things").A structure farther to the west along the north wall is believed to have been the house of the priestess of Apollo.
The Acropolis is entered by the Beulé Gate (named after the 19th century French archeologist who discovered it), below the west side of the Propylaia, which was the real entrance; admission tickets are sold here.The gate was built in 280 B.C. of material from the monument of Nikias and other structures.With its two flanking towers, it lay on the axis of symmetry of the Propylaia, with which it was linked by a broad marble staircase built in the reign of the Emperor Septimius Severus; part of the lower section of the staircase still survives.
Statue of Athena Promachos
Exactly in the axis of the central gate of the Propylaia at Acropolis stood a bronze statue of Athena Promachos (the "Champion"), a famous work by Phidias erected in 454 B.C. which stood 9m/30ft high. The statue was later taken to Constantinople, and was destroyed during the Crusaders' siege of the city in 1203.The goddess, whose lance was visible from a great distance, stood on a marble base, parts of which, with an unusually large "egg-and-dart" moulding, are still in situ.
The Klepsydra spring which, from the earliest times, supplied the Acropolis with water is at the west end of the northern face of the Acropolis. A rock-cut staircase beginning at the Beulé Gate, now walled up, gave access to the spring, which lies below the caves of Apollo and Pan. A well-house was built after the Persian wars.
Monument of Agrippa
On the way up from the Beulé Gate to the Propylaia, immediately below the Pinakotheke, is the tall rectangular plinth, in two colors of marble, of a monument built in the second century B.C. for a benefactor of Athens, perhaps a king of Pergamon. It is named after Marcus Agrippa, Augustus's son-in-law, whose quadriga (four-horse chariot) was set up on the base in 27 B.C.
Monument to Philhellenes
Going up towards the Acropolis from Dionysíou Areopagítou Street (where the tourist buses stop), not on the broad paved way but on the footpath beside the Odeion of Herodes Atticus, we see on the left a triangular marble pillar with an inscription commemorating the French general Baron Nicolas Favier (1782-1855) and Major Frank Robert, who defended the Acropolis against the Turks in 1826.
Acropolis South Slope
On the south slope of the Acropolis are numerous important archaeological sites, including the Odeion of Perikles, the sanctuary and theatre of Dionysos, the choregic monuments, the Asklepieion, the stoa of Eumenes and the Odeion of Herodes Atticus.
The Theatre of Dionysos was built on the southern slopes of the Acropolis in the 6th C B.C. It came to light during a period when tragedy was establishing its roots in theatre. The first drama was performed here in 534 B.C.
Below the Acropolis is the sanctuary of Asklepieion, dating to around 420 B.C.
The Odeion of Herodes Atticus is the youngest of the structures in this area, dating to the 2nd C.
Stoa of Eumenes was a spacious promenade with numerous columns and two floors. The arcades are still visible as the stoa was built into the slope of the hill, which provided stability.
Choregic Monument of Thrasyllos
The choregic monument of Thrasyllos was built high on the south slope of the Acropolis in Athens. Carvings suggest there were other choregic monuments in the area at one time although no remains of these have been found.
Sound and Light Shows
From April 1 until October 31 a son-et-lumière show is presented every evening with illumination of the Acropolis and commentaries bringing out the highlights of the Greek Classical period.The best views are obtained from the neighboring Pnyx hill.
Garden of the Athenian Agora
The 10ha Garden of the Athenian Agora includes trees and shrubs. On either side of the great marble Altar of Zeus are the evergreen oak and a bay tree. Myrtle and pomegranate have been planted around the Temple of Hephaistos.
More Acropolis Pictures