It may be slightly busier, but the view of the Parthenon from Philopappos Hill at sunset is unforgettable.
The view from the top of Philopappos hill is undoubtedly one of the finest in Athens. The summit is level with the plateau of the Acropolis, and offers a stunning view of the Parthenon, allowing you to appreciate it in way that is impossible when you’re next to it. Looking south-west you can take in the expanse of the Saronic Gulf, and on a clear day you can see the densely forested peaks of Parnitha National Park 30km away to the north.
The hill is named for Gaius Julius Antiochus Epiphanes Philopappus, a prince from the kingdom of Commagene. As one of the most famous and popular Greeks in the Roman Empire at the time, his death in 116 was deeply felt by the citizens of Athens. To commemorate him, they erected an exquisite two-storey monument in a position of great honour opposite the Acropolis, and the hill, which had previously been known as Mouseion Hill, eventually took his name.
The walk to the top can seem rather daunting as you approach it, but there is plenty of shade on the footpath to protect you from the scorching Athenian sun. Soon after the path begins on Dionysiou Areopagitou, you will pass the rustic Church of Agios Dimitrios Loumbardiaris, which is named for an incident in which an Ottoman soldier was struck by lightning as he attempted to fire a cannon at the Christians below. Further up the hill you will find Socrates’ prison and the Shrine of the Muses, perfect places for a quick rest if you’re feeling a bit tired.
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