The Acropolis of Athens : Center of the Religious Soul of Greece is just 4 km from Downtown Athens (2023)
The Acropolis of Athens is the center of the religious soul of Greece since it was built in ancient times. The Acropolis is about 4 km from Downtown Athens. The Acropolis means ‘High City”. The Acropolis was the hiding ground and fortress for the local population and Royal Greek families in ancient times to defend from enemies. Later kings and associates felt Acropolis is the right place to build a memorable temple that would represent Athens. Temples were built in early 400 BC. Persians captured Acropolis in 480 BC and destroyed the Parthenon temple. Same time, 3 other main attractions were built on the mountain Acropolis.
Visitors to Athens must see all four structures and try to visualize the original temple structure as shown below. The Acropolis mountain is 460 feet tall. There are 80 steps to the top of the mountain. It takes 20 minutes to reach Acropolis from the parking lot. The climb to the Acropolis is not difficult. Tourists can climb the hill only from the west side. Tourists can take several stops for rest while climbing. Each stop has something to see, so visitors can take several pictures.
a. The Parthenon-
The Acropolis is the hill on which the temple Parthenon was built. The construction began in the year 432 BC and finished in the year 447 BC. The temple of Parthenon is 2460 years old and the largest temple in Greece. The temple and the hill Acropolis was representing the wealth and power for Greece. The Acropolis with the Parthenon temple and other three magnificent structures were representing the religious dominance in Greece. The temple Parthenon has devoted to deity Athena. The Ottoman converted The temple Parthenon to a mosque in 1460. The Greece army captured and took control of Acropolis and the temple of the Parthenon near the end of the 15th century.
The Parthenon temple has 46 outer and 23 inner Doric Columns. Each column is 34 feet high and 6.2 feet wide. Each column slightly tapers toward the top. The column has multiple parallel grooves that are semicircular or semielliptical in shape. These groves are known as a flute. Each column had 20 flutes. The tourist must see the main sculptures of the Chryselephantyne statue of Athena. Also, the tourists must see the east and west triangular gable on the top of the temple that is known as Pediment. The original pediments had sculptures carved over the triangular wall. The heights of each successive sculpture were arranged in the lower height to fit the decreasing height of triangular space. The perimeter of the construction was supported by Doric Column. The triglyphs and metopes were constructed as a decorative carving and the spacing, as well as creation, showing the artistic talents of people who built the Parthenon. The triglyphs lie at the ends of the doric column and metopes between the column. There are several sculptures exhibited outside the area of the Parthenon and around the temple.
b. The Temple of Athena Nike
The Temple of Athena Nike is also built over the Acropolis next to the temple of Parthenon. The temple of Athena is the position in front and left of Parthenon. The temple of Athena Nike was built on the southwest corner of the Acropolis. In Greek language Nike means victory. The kings and army chiefs would pray for victory to Goddess of Athena Nike before any war against Spartans. The temple was destroyed by Persian in 480 BC and later rebuilt. The temple was again demolished in 1686 by Turks and rebuilt in 1834 after the Greece independence. The recent restoration of the temple of Athena Nike was done in 2009 and 10.Image Source
The temple of Erechtheion is located on the north side of the Acropolis. Erechtheion was built around 421 BC, the same time as other structures were built on the mountain of the Acropolis, in Athens. The Erechtheion was built to signify a sacred place for the sanctuary. The Erechtheion sanctuary was placed behind and on the right side of the Parthenon.Image Source
The Erechtheion complex has a six unique sculpture that supports the roof instead Doric column. The Erechtheion complex was destroyed by Ottomans in 480 BC and later by Turks in the year 1687. The name for the temple was picked to remember the legendary king Erichthonius, who was a mighty ruler of Athens. The mythological stories narrated in history describes him as a son who was raised by the goddess Athena.
The temple was constructed on a slope of the mountain that resulted in differences of level in front and back portion of the temple. The lower section of the temple was elevated by adding a room underneath the flat surface that was level equal to the front portion of the temple. The temple was restored a few times during the last 100 years.
d. The Propylaea
The Propylaea was built as a majestic entrance building for the people to enter the Acropolis and the Parthenon temple. Thus, the Propylaea was built in front of the Parthenon temple over the mountain of Acropolis in Athens. The building of the Propylaea has several gates. The five gates open into the central hall of the building.Image Source
The Propylea building was constructed on the slope of the mountain. So the creator and the builder of the Royal Entrance building, built a room at the lower level to get the flat surface on the top, which continues with the remaining structure built on the backside. The clever construction was acknowledged when archeologists found the underneath constructed area as a storage area. The storage area was perfectly built to elevate the slope and get the top surface flat and continued further back to create the floor of the Porpylea grand opening building to the Acropolis.