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The Acropolis is Greece's most important landmark and a global symbol of Western Culture and history of western societies.

  1. Modern and Contemporary era (1821 - )

    The first restoration by Nikolaos Balanos took place on the occasion of the two strong earthquakes (6,2R and 6,4R) of April 1864.

  2. Ottoman era (1453- 1821)

    During the Ottoman period, members of the Turkish guard (Kastriots) lived among the monuments, and Christians were forbidden to enter the Acropolis. There were many battles and sieges at the end of the Ottoman period and (especially during the Greek Revolution), which resulted in serious damage to the monuments.

  3. Byzantine era (331 AC- 1453)

  4. Roman era (30 BC- 330 AC)

    During the Roman years, the Acropolis did not undergo significant changes. The destruction and decline began with the invasion of the Heruli.

  5. Hellenistic era (322- 31 BC)

    Alexander the Great dedicated spoils from the war with the Persians.

  6. Classical era (478-323 BC)

    In the 5th century BC Pericles builds the 4 buildings in a short period of time. These buildings can be seen from everywhere.

  7. Archaic era (800-479 BC)

    480 BC Burned to the ground by the Persians.

  8. Geometric era (-1100- 800 BC)

  9. Prehistory (-1100 BC)

What I can see

Many historical cities had an acropolis (=citadel). The word acropolis means “the top of town,” a hill that is from where one could observe a city. This is the best known acropolis in the world and often incorrectly identified with the Parthenon. The Acropolis of Athens is the entire rock, which includes several monuments, four of which are located at the top: the Propylaea, the Erechtheion, the Temple of Athena (Apteros) Nike and, of course, the Parthenon. This particular hill was chosen as the citadel because it is the average of the hills of the city, has water, little caves and is relatively flat. One of the most interesting characteristics of Acropolis is that it is shaped like a boat navigating through the urban landscape. The hill, apart from its historical and archeological value, also has great mythological significance. Βeside the Erechtheion, there is an olive tree, part of the sanctuary of Pandroso (daughter of the mythical king Erechtheus). According to legend, during the controversy of Poseidon and Athena for the name of the city, Poseidon struck with his trident the rock and seawater sprang. Athena struck her spear and an olive tree grew. Kekrops, the mythical king, chose the olive tree, which has since been a symbol of prosperity. Legend bears various interpetations. The water of Poseidon symbolized the maritime trade that relied on the crafty merchants and sailors, while the olive tree symbolized the rich and powerful landowners of the time. The olive tree produced olive oil, which was one of the most basic raw materials of the time. The Acropolis hill offers an excellent view of a large part of the city and important buildings of the centre and Plaka right below.

What I can't see

During the prehistoric period (6000 BC) there were only a few huts on the site of the Acropolis. During the Mycenaean period (1500 BC), there was the megalithic fortification (Cyclopean), a Mycenaean palace and perhaps a sanctuary. In subsequent periods, the Acropolis acquired an influential role in the city. During the classical period, Athens was the political and economic superpower of the era. Aside from the well-known structures of the classical period, roughly in the centre of the plateau, between the Parthenon and the Erechtheion, one can see the foundations of an archaic temple, while the west side, was adorned by a colossal bronze statue of Athena Promachos during the classical era, a work by Pheidias. During the Venetian and Frankish rule the ancient walls were repaired, while during the Ottoman period the area was transformed into a small walled settlement. The rock of the Acropolis, together with its monuments, defines the notion of architectural moderation of the contemporary city. This is the main reason there are restrictions in the construction of highrises in much of the capital, with very few exceptions.


Camp J., (2001), The Archaeology of Athens, Yale University Press, New Haven and London

Travlos J., (1980), Pictorial Dictionary of Ancient Athens, New York: Hacker Art Books

Yohalas T., Kafetzaki Τ., (2013), Αθήνα, Ιχνηλατώντας την πόλη με οδηγό την ιστορία και τη λογοτεχνία [Athens, Tracing the city guided by history and literature], ESTIA Bookstore

Kerenyi K., (2017), Η μυθολογία των Ελλήνων, [The mythology of Greeks], ESTIA Bookstore

Korres M. (2012), Topographic Issues of the Acropolis, Archaeology of the city of Athens, ΕΙΕ,

Last vsit 9/8/2013

Rousopoulos A., (2008), Ο Παρθενών, [The Parthenon], Athens: Philippotis

Simonetis G., (2004), Η Αθήνα… κάποτε, [Athens… once], Philippotis

Foka Ι., Valavanis P., (1994), Περίπατοι στην Αθήνα και την Αττική, τόποι, θεοί, μνημεία [Strolls in Athens and Attica, places, gods, monuments], Kedros