The Acropolis of Athens or Citadel of Athens is the best known acropolis (Gr. akros, edge, extremity + polis, city) in the world. Although there are many other acropoleis (plur) in Greece, the significance of the Acropolis of Athens is such that it is commonly known as The Acropolis without qualification. The Acropolis was formally proclaimed as the preeminent monument on the European Cultural Heritage list of monuments on 26 March 2007. The Acropolis is a flat-topped rock that rises 150 m (490 ft) above sea level in the city of Athens, with a surface area of about 3 hectares. It was also known as Cecropia, after the legendary serpent-man, Cecrops, the first Athenian king.
(Further reading of the history…)
Site plan of the Acropolis at Athens showing the major archaeological remains
Follow the links below to each temple or other monument for further reading:
2. Old Temple of Athena
4. Statue of Athena Promachos
6. Temple of Athena Nike
8. Sanctuary of Artemis Brauronia or Brauroneion
12. Altar of Athena
13. Sanctuary of Zeus Polieus
14. Sanctuary of Pandion
15. Odeon of Herodes Atticus
16. Stoa of Eumenes
17. Sanctuary of Asclepius or Asclepieion
18. Theatre of Dionysus Eleuthereus
19. Odeon of Pericles
20. Temenos of Dionysus Eleuthereus
The entrance to the Acropolis was a monumental gateway called the Propylaea. To the south of the entrance is the tiny Temple of Athena Nike. A bronze statue of Athena, sculpted by Phidias, originally stood at its centre. At the centre of the Acropolis is the Parthenon or Temple of Athena Parthenos (Athena the Virgin). East of the entrance and north of the Parthenon is the temple known as the Erechtheum. South of the platform that forms the top of the Acropolis there are also the remains of an outdoor theatre called Theatre of Dionysus. A few hundred metres away, there is the now partially reconstructed Theatre of Herodes Atticus.
Acropolis of Athens, Full Reconstruction,
animation by the Technological Research Institute,
University of Santiago de Compostela, on YouTube
All the valuable ancient artifacts are situated in the Acropolis Museum, which resides on the southern slope of the same rock, 280 metres from the Parthenon.
The Acropolis Museum is an archaeological museum focused on the findings of the archaeological site of the Acropolis of Athens. The museum was built to house every artifact found on the rock and on its feet, from the Greek Bronze Age to Roman and Byzantine Greece. It also lies on the archaeological site of Makrygianni and the ruins of a part of Roman and early Byzantine Athens. The museum was founded in 2003, while the Organisation of the Museum was established in 2008. It opened to the public on June 21, 2009. Nearly 4,000 objects are exhibited over an area of 14,000 square metres.
- Hellenic Minstry of Culture
- The Acropolis Restoration Project
- Athena, the goddess of Acropolis
- The Restitution of the Parthenon marbles
- The Parthenon Frieze
- Acropolis Museum (official site)