The Largest and most important building of the Acropolis and the supreme achievement of the ancient Greek architecture. So much has been written about the Parthenon from travelers, poets, writers and Greek loving visitors. The Parthenon was built between 447 And 438 BC by the architects Iktinos and Kallicrates. The sculpture Phidias, Pericles' personal friend, had the general supervision of the project. The Parthenon was constructed with marble from mountain Penteli.
On the northern side of Acropolis rock stands the Erechtheion, the last of the buildings that were built during Pericles' era. It was built during the Peloponnesian war, between 421 and 406 BC.
If you walk around the temple you may find it hard to decide which is the entrance and the facade of the temple. The Erechtheion is not an ordinary temple dedicated to a specific divinity. It is a complex building that was constructed to house ancient cults, such as the cult of Athena and Poseidon Erechtheus (a mythical king, son of Earth, who later merged with Poseidon but gave the building it's name).
Next to Pericles Odeum stands the theater of Dionysus. Look at the ruins of the theatre and try to imagine it in its entirety. The theatre was associated with the worship of god Dionysus in classical Athens. Theatrical performances took place only as part of Drama contests during the large feast in honor of the god, the city or the Great Dionysia.
The new Acropolis museum is located right across the Acropolis rock, about 300 meters southeast of the Parthenon. In its 3 floors you'll find sculptures from the decoration of the Acropolis buildings and the votive offerings to the goddess Athena. The sculptures are both authentic, transferred from the Acropolis rock in spring 2009, alongside with the cast copies of the marbles that are hosted in the British Museum.
After you have climbed a few stairs towards the Propylaea, stand still and look behind you, towards the propylaea. On the edge of the rock stands a little temple. It is the temple of Athena Nike (Victory) or Apteros Nike, as it was named during the Ronan times. Observe the location of the temple. What is the significance of this location as regards defense against possible intruders? Does this provide you a clue as to why this temple was dedicated to Athena Nike?
The Romans selected this spot on the 1st century BC to build the Roman Agora, precisely because it lies on a strategic point between the Acropolis, the most important religious and symbolic area of the city and the Ancient Agora, the center of commercial and political life.
The Roman Agora was created as a continuation of the Ancient Agora in order to satisfy the needs of the everyday life of the city. The Ancient Agora was connected with the Roman Agora through a road.
Propylaea is the entrance to the sacred rock designed by the architect Mnesicles. Its construction lasted from 437 to 432 BC to be interrupted by the outbreak of the Peloponnesian War (431 BC). In the antiquity there were five entrances between the six columns that you see before you. You can come in from the middle one, the only one in use today. The Propylaea resembles an ancient temple. It consists of three wings, the central and the two side ones which are asymmetrical.
THE ACROPOLIS THROUGH THE CENTURIES
The first people of Athens settle around the Acropolis rock. Since that time and throughout Athens' history the Acropolis was the center around which city life developed.
THE HISTORY OF ATHENS
The exciting history of Athens started approximately 6000 years ago, with the arrival of the first pre-Hellenic tribes.
According to the myths, Athens was established through the union of the scattered settlements of Attica under the initiative of king Theseus. The history of Athens was identical, from its very first day, with the history of Attica itself. The timetable that follows presents o brief picture of basic historical periods up to the present day.
For the Meteora full day tour, we depart from Athens at 8:30 am driving through the national road we'll meet on the way very Picturesque cities like Kamena Vourla. First stop is famous Thermopiles.