Acropolis ComplexAthens Archaeological Sites


things to do in Athens, Acropolis of Athens

Acropolis Global Monument

The name of Acropolis originates from greek words akro and polis. Akro means highest point and polis means city. More specifically ancient Greeks built Acropolis on a rocky hill. In addition the general and also statesman of Athens Pericles hired great architects to built it. Therefore he hired Kallikrates, Iktinos and the sculptor Phidias. In particular Phidias sculptured the gold statue of Athena.

Historical Information of Acropolis

Impressively the statue stood at the Parthenon near the smaller temple of Athena. Initially there was already a built on the hill. Unfortunately Persians ruined the temple of Athena in 480 BCE. After the defeat of Persians at the battle of Salamis (480 BCE) started the new construction of the monument. Moreover the periclean monument declared the glory of Athens to the world. Also it gave honour to the goddess of Athena, who was the patron of the city. Additionally the buildings that are visible today are the Parthenon, the Propylaea, the Erechtheion and the temple of Athena Nike.

Acropolis of Athens Ancient Greece
ancient Athens Acropolis Greece

Cultural activities

In antiquity every four years took place the festival of Panathenaia in Athens. More specifically a procession traveled from the Panathenaic way and ended to the Acropolis. During the festival's activities, ancient Greek customs arised. Such customs were the decoration of goddess Athena. Ancient Greek used to dress either the statue of Athena Polias or the statue of Athena Parthenos. More specifically ancient Athenians dressed those statues with a robe of woven wool (peplos).

Changes to the Acropolis

Unfortunately the monument suffered from human intervention. After the rise of Christianity, the Parthenon and the Erechtheion became churches. Furthermore the temple of Athena Nike became a chapel and the Propylaea an episcopal residence. Afterwards in the epoche under the Frankish rule Acropolis became a residence.

The history of the monument through Ages

Then during the Turkish occupation Acropolis became a Muslim worship center. In addition Parthenon became a mosque. Parthenon used to be the garrison of Turks’ headquarters. It was bombarded when Venetians and Morozini shoot to dislodge Turks from Greece. After the Turkish approval, Lord Elgin looted historical parts of Acropolis. In Particular he damaged the sculptural decoration of the Parthenon, the temple of Athena Nike and the Erechtheion. Moreover the British Museum houses the stolen exhibits since 1816. In 1975, a restoration plan began which is still in progress.

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