World Reviewer rating

Worth a visit
Rating 1.5 (217 votes)

Acropolis

Listed under Archaeological Sites in Athens, Greece.

  • Photo of Acropolis
  • Photo of Acropolis
  • Photo of Acropolis
  • Photo of Acropolis
Photo of Acropolis
Photo by flickr user tiseb
Pin It

Not the only acropolis in Greece, this is the one people are generally referring to, a plateau of rock on which to build the greatest parts of Athens, its temples, palaces and most important buildings. The first known structure to stand here was built in the Bronze Age, but the current ruins, which include the Parthenon, the Propylaea or entrance gate, The Temple of Nike, the Theatre of Dionysus and the Erechtheum, were built in the fifth century BC. Other grand structures originally surrounded these ancient masterpieces, including a massive bronze statue of Athena holding a lance that could be seen by sailors out at sea.

Many, many items of importance have been recovered in archaeological examinations of the Acropolis, and these were housed first in the Acropolis Museum or the New Acropolis Museum, both built on the rock amongst the ruins. These days the Acropolis is in an almost constant state of gentle restoration, you’re likely to see scaffolding of some sort, even if it’s just there to hold up the Parthenon’s crumbling perfection. The lines of the columns aren’t quite straight, the ancient Athenians had such advanced ideas about engineering that they understood that to have lines that look perfectly straight you actually need to curve them. Rather than its pieces interchange with each other each piece is actually totally unique – like a complex jigsaw – so it could be taken apart and repaired.

Written by  Howard Amble.

Other expert and press reviews

“Acropolis”

'Illustrating the civilizations, myths and religions that flourished in Greece over a period of more than 1,000 years, the Acropolis, the site of four of the greatest masterpieces of classical Greek art – the Parthenon, the Propylaea, the Erechtheum and… Read more...

Written by press. UNESCO

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

The Acropolis

The Acropolis in Athens is the most famous acropolis in the world. Perched safely above Athens, the Acropolis is home to many different religious temples and sanctuaries honoring Zeus and Athena, the city’s patron goddess. According to mythology, Poseidon and Athena fought over who was the become patron of the city. Poseidon used his scepter to make water spring from a rock, but when Athena made an olive tree grow from the ground, she was immediately declared the winner. Also in the acropolis is the outdoor Theater of Dionysus, honoring the god of wine and revelry and the Erechtheum temple, with its famous ‘Porch of Maidens’ columns.

The most recognized attraction of the Acropolis is the iconic Parthenon, built by Pericles in the 5th century BC to honor the achievements of Athens. The very sight of its stately columns conjures images of democracy and law. The Parthenon was an architectural marvel when it was completed and is equally impressive today. It still widely recognized as one of the most perfect examples of a Doric temple.

The Acropolis

The Acropolis is the site of the Parthenon, perhaps one of the most widely recognised monuments of the ancient world. Built on by the Greeks and first used as an area for shelter during sieges of Athens, the rock of the Acropolis has been studied by archaeologists since the 1700s. This rocky outcrop is the second highest point in the city. Although the trek up looks daunting, it is in fact a pleasant walk, with large walkways and spectacular views of Athens, past the theater of Herod Atticus and the Theatre of Dionysus. While the stage of the Theatre of Dionysus is roped off from tourists, visitors can sit on the crumbling seats and imagine the performances of 2000 years ago.

At the entrance to the Acropolis is the Temple of Athena Nike, symbolizing the Athenians' victory over the Persians. Although hard to picture what it originally looked like through all the years of deterioration, it is still a stunning reminder of what the Greeks were capable of building in the 5th century BC. Other than the Parthenon, the major building in Acropolis is The Erecthion, a temple to Athena and Poseidon. Instead of regular columns, this site has carvings of women holding up a section of the temple, named the porch of the maidens. But its the overwhelming size of the Parthenon, beyond, which takes your breath away - though with all the construction going on it is hard to appreciate beneath the scaffolding.

Post a comment, review or question

I want to
Question
My comment - optional
Rating - how would you rate this place or experience?
 

Who's been here

Similar Experiences

  • Machu Picchu

    The ruins of Machu Picchu, rediscovered in 1911 by Yale archaeologist Hiram Bingham, are one of the most beautiful ancient site…

  • Tikal

    The largest of the ancient Classic Mayan cities is spread out within the El Peten rainforest, in Northeastern Guatemala. The a…

  • Petra

    I sighed and handed over my 55 Dinar ($77USD) to the man at the ticket counter; a hefty sum for an otherwise budget friendly co…

Nearby Experiences

  • New Acropolis Museum

    As the Acropplis Museum filled quickly in the 20th Century and discovery after discovery was made it became more and more clear…

  • Acropolis Museum

    On the site of the Acropolis itself, this discreet building houses a magnificent collection of art and sculpture primarily dedi…

  • The Parthenon

    The supreme expression of ancient Greek architectural genius, the Parthenon has enchanted painters and poets for two thousand y…

Related links

Contribute to this page