Acropolis of Athens — is the heart of the city. It is well visible from all sides (in Athens allowed the construction of tall buildings, so as not to obscure the view of the Acropolis) and Acropolis serves as excellent guide for travel around the city.
Acropolis from the ancient Greek language is translated as a fortified place in the city.
History of Acropolis
Acropolis is the oldest inhabited place in Athens.
First buildings at the Acropolis were built during the Archaic period by ancient peoples who dressed this place with majestic temples and sculptures which later generations of Greeks believed was product of the cyclops activity.
In the Mycenaean period (15 -13 BC), the Acropolis was the royal residence. It was the residence of the legendary Theseus (winner of the Minotaur) unless, of course, his personality was not mythical.
During the Greco-Persian wars Acropolis was completely destroyed by the Persians. Athenians made a pledge to restore the temples only after the victory over the Persians and the expulsion of the enemies from Greece .
In 447 BC under the leadership of the famous sculptor Phidias on
the Acropolis began new construction. Parthenon , the Temple of Nike, Erectheum — these are masterpieces, which we enjoy up to nowdays.
Sights of Acropolis
On the southern slope of the Acropolis there is the oldest known
theater — the Theater of Dionysus (the god of wine). According to the legend, the Athenians killed Dionysus, when he arrived in Attica and presented the wine to people, thinking that Dionysus is trying to poison them. Then they thought better of it and become very rapidly celebrate Dionysiacs — the festivities in honor of killed god. At the end, it all led to the creation of the theater.
At this theater were first time shown the masterpieces of Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, and Aristophanes. The Romans rebuilt the theater several times, most recently doing so in the 3 rd century AD during the reign of Emperor Phaedra. The statues which can be seen today at the front of the theater depict scenes from the myth of Dionysus.
You can find also the Theater of Herod Attica at the entrance to the Acropolis. Tiberius Claudius Herod Attic was one of the richest Athenian citizens, as well as the Roman governor in the province of Asia. Above all, he was a famous philosopher, and was a teacher of Marcus Aurelius. In 161 AD in memory of his wife, he built the Odeon (theater) in Athens. It is perfectly preserved example of Roman architecture in Athens.
Between the theater of Dionysus and Odeon of Herod Attica located the Colonnade Evminiya II (king of Pergamum). Evminiya built this colonnade in the 2 nd century BC as a gift for the Athenians. In ancient times colonnade has the roof and used by the residents of Athens as a promenade for walking.
In the 5 th century, with the advent of Christianity, the Parthenon became a church of the Virgin. After the conquest of Greece by the Turks they turned the temple into a mosque, and then — in the arsenal.
Temple of Nike was dismantled. In 1687, during the war between Turkey and Venice after being hit with a core from Venetian ship, explosion destroyed the entire central part of the Parthenon, and in addition in it an unsuccessful attempt to remove the statues by Venetians several statues were broken.
In the 19 century friezes of the Parthenon and the remaining statues were shipped to England, where they can be seen in the British Museum.
Acropolis on the map