the Acropolis in Athen, Greece

the Acropolis in Athen, Greece

The Athenian Acropolis is the ancient high city of Athens, a prominent plateaued rock perched high above the modern city with commanding views and an amazing array of ancient architecture, mostly from the Classical period of Ancient Greece, the most famous of which is the Parthenon. A visit to Athens is not complete without visiting the Acropolis - hundreds of tourists each day accordingly make the pilgrimage.

- The Parthenon The largest temple on the Acropolis, originally dedicated to the goddess of the city, Athena, later converted to a church and then a mosque. Built between 447 and 438 BCE at the height of the Classical period. Original home to what some refer to as the "Elgin Marbles", now in London's British Museum.

- The Temple of Athena Nike First temple on the Acropolis to be built in the Ionic style, and one of the few exemplars of an amphiprostyle temple in all of Greece: what made it truly unique was the unit by which it was planned, which turns out to be the Egyptian foot of 300 mm.

- The Erectheion Dedicated to the worship of the two principal gods of Attica, Athena and Poseidon-Erechtheus.

- The Propylea The ancient monumental gateway to the Acropolis.

The Acropolis of Athens is open daily. Summer opening times: 8AM-7PM, Winter opening times: 8AM - sunset. Get there as early as possible to avoid heavy crowds, and summer heat when relevant.

General admission is €12 but excellent concessions are available, as is free access to many categories of individuals, especially under-18s and European university students - check the official web site. There are also a limited number of free days for the public listed each year; again, check the website.

The main archaeological site is surrounded by a large public area, a plethora of trees with beautiful stone-paved paths (designed by the great Greek architect Pikionis). A canteen with a wide range of food and drink is reached before you get to the ticket kiosk - but beware: refreshments are available only at exorbitant prices. You will definitely need a bottle of water with you in the hot summer, so either bring it with you or buy it from the kiosk on Dionysiou Areopagitou Street, just outside the entrance. There are water fountains within the site, but the water isn't always cold. Guides can nearly always be found offering to show you around - at a price - at the point where tickets are checked.

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