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The Propylaea were built mainly with Pentelic marble and divided into three sections, the central one and two Doric wings.

  1. Modern and Contemporary era (1821 - )

    The first restorations were made in the early 20th century by Nikolaos Balanos.

  2. Ottoman era (1453- 1821)

    Later, it was used as headquarters of the Turkish garrison commander and gunpowder barracks.

  3. Byzantine era (331 AC- 1453)

    During the early Christian period (4th-7th century AD) a Christian church was located in the south wing. Similarly, the central portion was used as a church in the 10th century AD. During the Frankish Rule (13th-14th c.) it became the residence of the Frankish ruler.

  4. Roman era (30 BC- 330 AC)

  5. Hellenistic era (322- 31 BC)

  6. Classical era (478-323 BC)

    437 BC Beginning of construction.

    432 BC Completion.

  7. Archaic era (800-479 BC)

  8. Geometric era (-1100- 800 BC)

  9. Prehistory (-1100 BC)

What I can see

The Αcropolis has two entrances: the Beulé Gate (named after the archaeologist who discovered it), which is part of the late roman fortification (3rd century AD). Upon entering the Acropolis, one can see the Propylaea, which in some parts remained incomplete due to the Peloponnesian War. They were built mainly with Pentelic marble and divided into three sections, the central one and two Doric wings. Between the six Doric columns of the central section, there were five doors built on a transverse wall; only the middle one is still in use. In the north wing there is the “Gallery,” a dining room decorated with paintings, which was used for distinguished guests. The south wing led to the temple of Athena Nike, which was why there was no special gallery room on the south side. The Propylaea and the Parthenon are two buildings that are connected. Although they do not have the same axis, they have the same orientation and very similar ratio.

What I can't see

A Mycenaean period gate existed where architect Mnesicles’ excellent work is currently exhibited. The Propylaea of the archaic period however, was completely destroyed by the Persians. The Propylaea of classical times have a slight difference in orientation compared to the pre existing Propylaea. The architect probably wanted the entrant to be able to see the statue of Athena Promachos and the temples on both sides, that is, the Parthenon and the Erechtheion. Another possible explanation is that with the new orientation, the Propylaea look directly to Salamis. Thus, the historic victory of Athens against the Persians, which determined the course of the later history of the western world, is forever remembered. It suffered many disasters over the centuries, and many additions were removed after Greek independence.


Venieri Ι., (d.u.) Προπύλαια, [Propylaea], in Odysseus, Ministry of Culture

Last visit 10/8/2013

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

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

Papadopoulos J.K., (2014), Το μυστήριο των Προπυλαίων του Μνησικλή στην Αθηναϊκή Ακρόπολη, [The mystery of the Propylaea of Mnisikles at the Athenian Acropolis], in Η Ιστορία μιας πόλης, [The History of a City], in Lifo, v.2, p.p. 42-46

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 Book

Rhodes F.R., (1995), Architecture and meaning of the Athenian Acropolis, in A modern view of the Acropolis and its monuments, Cambridge