If you’re in Athens on the first Sunday of the month from November to March, admission is free.
The Acropolis is the gleaming centrepiece of any visit to Athens. Sitting high on a rocky outcrop overlooking the entire city, it was once the most important citadel of the mighty Greek empire, and remains one of the most important historical sites anywhere in the world. Although the word literally translates as “highest point”, and there are many other acropoleis scattered throughout Greece, the historical and cultural significance of the buildings on summit of Athens is so enormous that it is generally referred to simply as “the Acropolis”.
An Ancient Megaron
It is speculated that the Acropolis may have been inhabited as far back as the 6th millennium BC, and certainly it is known that the Mycenaeans built an enormous palace called a megaron here over 3000 years ago. Very little survives of this, however, and most of the buildings on the summit today were the result of the spectacular vision of the Athenian Pericles.
The Light of the Western World
During the Golden Age of Athens, when the city-state had defeated Persia, established democracy and now stood as the leading intellectual light of the Western world, Pericles commissioned an exceptional group of master craftsman and artists to produce a citadel like none that had ever existed before. And so were built the Parthenon, the Erechtheion, the Propylaia and the Temple of Athena Nike, extraordinary feats of engineering carved by hand from the finest marble and encrusted with innumerable precious stones. Whether you are wandering among these ancient monoliths or simply admiring from afar the golden hue they reflect at sunset, the Acropolis is an Athenian experience not to be missed.
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