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The Bulé, the entrance to the Acropolis
The Acropolis

You may want to sit down for a little rest after climbing up to the entrance of the Acropolis and before going in.

The present entrance to the Acropolis used to be the gate of the wall that was built after invasion of the Herulae in 264 BC. The gate is called Beule after the French archeologist who made a special study of it. Built into the wall above the gate are remains of the choragic monument of Nikias.

Location map Dionysiou Areopagitou Straat
Opening hours Opening hours and admission

Nearest metro station Acropoli
Photo gallery See photos of the Acroplis Top

The Monument of AgrippaThe monument of Agrippa

The high pedestal in front of the Propylaea was put there by King Pergamon Eumenis II as a base for a carriage with four horses, a gift for his victory during the Panathenaic games of 178 BC. In 27 BC the Athenians put a statue of the Roman Markos Agrippa, benefactor of the city, on the pedestal. Top

The Propylaea of the AcropolisThe Propylaea

The Propylaea were built by the architect Mnisiklis between 437 and 432 BC. Apart from its worldly function, the building probably also was associated with the adoration of the Gods who protected gates and entrances (Hermes, Propylaios...).

The middle part of thePropylaea floor plan Propylaea exists of two galleries with six columns, one on the outside and one leading to the inside of the Acropolis. The galleries were used as an entrance for the visitors. The sacrificial animals were lead in by the middle opening.

The middle propyleon is being flanked by two buildings. The one on the north side is known as the Panacotheque. Paintings were hung up in this building and visitors, tired by climbing the hill, could rest on beds. The building that used to be there on the south side was smaller as part of the Mycean wall that is still there. Top

After the Peloponnesian war broke out in 431 BC, the Propylaea were never finished.

The Propylaea as it used to beThe Propylaea - as used to be

Access to the Acropolis has always been from the west, even as far back as the Mycenaean period. In Pisistratus time, the Acropolis became unequivocally a center of religion. The ancient temples were restored and an imposing propylon was built at the point where the entrance had been in prehistoric times. This was destroyed by the Persians in 480 BC and there remain only a few traces of its foundations on the slope to the southeast of Mnesicles Propylaea.

The Greeks used the term Propylon in the singular for a porch at the entrance to a shrine or palace, while the plural Propylaea was used for a monumental entrance with several doors like those of the Parthenon, Eleusis and Epidauros. Top

The Temple of Athena Niki The temple of Athena Niki

In the 6th century BC a little temple, dedicated to Athena Niki, was built in turf stones on the Mycenaean wall. In 437 BC, the architect Kallikratis started the construction of a marble temple. Floor plan Temple of Athena NikiThe construction works were interrupted by the Peloponnesian war and the Temple was only finished between 427 and 424 BC.

The, now restored, classical temple has two cella and two galleries with four Ionic columns, one on the east side and one on the west side.

It was the first time that not mythological but historical themes were depicted. On the east side all twelve gods, on the other sides fights of Athenians with other Greeks and Persians. The altar of Athena Niki was on the east side of the temple. Top


     Monument of Agrippa
     Propylaea before
     Temple of Athena Niki

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