Acropolis & the Parthenon

Featured Landmarks

Acropolis is a rocky hill, which is 160 meters higher from the sea level and approximately 70 meters from the level of the city of Athens. In this place related most of the myths of ancient Athens, its greatest religious festivals, the oldest city cults but also some of the major facts of the Greek history.

In the mid of the 6th century BC, the time of the tyrant of Athens ”Peisistratos”, was the period that Acropolis gained great prestige. During that period the Panathenaic festival, the biggest festival of the Athenians in honor of the goddess Athena was established and the first monumental buildings were constructed. Among these buildings was the Propylaea, the temple of Athena Nike, a temple called the Erechtheion and of course the Parthenon, an iconic temple dedicated to Athena that housed a colossal statue of gold and ivory depicting the goddess. The Parthenon measures 69.5 meters by 30.9 meters and stood about 20 meters high. Parthenon and the asorted buildings and marble decorations of Acropolis are considered still the apex of classical architecture and sculpture – a paragon of ingenuity and artfulness for millenia to come.

Unfortunately, the passage of time was not kind to the Acropolis. With the spread of Christianity in Greece, the Parthenon would eventually be turned into a church and many of its metopes would be defaced. But perhaps the worst event in the history of the Acropolis occurred in 1687 during a siege of Athens by a Venetian force. Finally at the beginning of the 19th century, Lord Elgin would remove many sculptures from the Parthenon, an act that has led to a still open repatriation controversy between the United Kingdom and Greece.