Acropole - Athens


The Acropolis of Athens is a 55 metre high flat-topped rock on which was originally the fortress of a local lord. Its location, its restricted access and the steep and accidented slopes made the site a very secure place. But the Acropolis also refers to all the buildings such as the Parthenon, the Temple of Athena Nike, the theatre of Dyonisos, etc. In the XIIIth century, the fortress and the sanctuary were surrounded by a large and imposing wall from which very few vestiges remain. It was only during the first king of Athens's reign that the Acropolis was dedicated to Athena, protectress of the city. In 480 B.C., the Persians won over the Athenian democracy and took over the city. Even though the Athenians hid many statues and works of art in secret vaults, the invaders plundered the city and stole most of the riches. Even the temples of the Acropolis were destroyed. The remains of the temples are now displayed in the museum of the Acropolis. By uniting all the Greek peoples in a great alliance, the cities regained their power. Perikles used the riches and plunder to rebuild the temples of the Acropolis. It was Phidias, regarded as the greatest of all classical sculptors, who was charged to rebuild the temples of old. In 86 B.C., the Romans invaded and plundered Athens but did not touch the Acropolis. However, in the Vth century, the Byzantine Christians stole away the gold and ivory statue of Athena Parthenos. The famous 36 metre high statue was never found again. At the same time, the Parthenon was changed into an orthodox church then catholic but taken by the Turks in 1456 and changed into a fortified place with a mosque. A Venitian general who wanted to expel the Turks out of the city bombarded the Acropolis and the Parthenon. So, through the centuries, the Acropolis was plundered many times. The last, but not the least, plunder was executed by Lord Elgin, ambassador of Great-Britain in Constantinople, who brought the most beautiful pieces of the Parthenon and other temples to the British Museum in London as soon as 1801. Since then, the Greek government has been struggling to take back all these fragments of Greece's glorious history.

Opening

in summer : 8.00-19.00 every day.
september - end june : 8.30-17.00.

Prices

6,00


Address : Athens Greece

Phone : + 30 010 32 10 219 + 30 010 32 14 172

Map :

Related places :