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Temple of Athena Nike

Next to the Propylaea lies the Acropolis' earliest Ionic temple, built for the goddess of victory and restored after its destruction in 1686.

TravelCurious Tip

It may not be the star of the show, but the Temple of Athena Nike still draws a large crowd - try to arrive early to avoid the rush.

Prominently located on a steep clifftop at the south-west corner of the Acropolis, the Temple of Athena Nike is a superb example of classic Greek architecture in the Ionic style. At just 9m long, 6m wide and 7m high, it is very modestly proportioned when compared to the nearby monoliths of the Parthenon and the Propylaea, but still manages to impress through the beauty of its design.


Just Do It

It is a "tetrastyle" structure, meaning that each of the two porticos on its east and west sides are supported by four columns. Like many of the structures on the acropolis, the temple is built predominantly from white Pentelic marble, which gleams radiantly in the sun from its position above the city. If you are outraged at the apparent hijacking of an ancient temple by a modern sports brand, fear not - "Nike" is a greek work for victory, and it was in this form that the ancient greeks often worshipped Athena, as the goddess of victory in war. There is a famous frieze of her adjusting her sandal which was originally located in the temple, but has since been removed to the Acropolis museum.


Built and Rebuilt

The Temple has had a turbulent history, even by the standards of the Acropolis. In 1686 it was entirely demolished by the Ottoman Turks so that they could place a large cannon on its foundations, and was not reassembled for another 150 years. At the beginning of the 21st century it was was again dismantled so that repairs could be made to its foundations, but finally it stands proudly today as a shining example of Greek craftsmanship.


Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Athens
Acropolis
An ancient citadel high above the city, this group of stunning ruins are among the most important cultural icons of Western civilisation.
Parthenon
Crowning the Acropolis hill, the sublime marble columns of the Parthenon form the most recognisable monument in Athens.
Erechtheion
This temple across from the Parthenon is famous for its Caryatids, the six larger-than-life female columns which support its roof.
Propylaea
This stunning monumental gateway leads onto the plateau of the Acropolis.
Odeon of Herodes Atticus
Built on the Acropolis' southwest slope in memory of the beloved wife of magnate Atticus, this 2nd century theatre is still used today as a venue for live performances.
Areopagus Hill
Also known as the Rock of Ares, this outcrop is famed as the location of Paul's sermon to the Athenians.

Related Tours

Private Ancient Athens in Half a Day
Incredible human endeavour built The Acropolis 2,500 years ago as thousands of tons of marble, quarried at Mount Pentelicus 10 miles northeast of the city, were lugged up steep steps to the Attica plateau by vast legions of manual labour. Hand hewn using mallets, foundations were built using great blocks of limestone dating back to the Late Cretaceous period. On your private half day tour of Ancient Athens, you will: 

  • Enjoy a private, immersive cultural experience that brings archaeology to life.
  • Understand the human endeavour required to complete the The Acropolis 2,500 years ago.
  • Be intellectually stimulated - your tour is full of fascinating narrative.
  • Climb up to the Acropolis complex to marvel at this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Wander through the Acropolis Museum, discovering the beautiful art and architecture. 
  • Discover Athen's theatrical sites, including the Theatre of Dionysus and the Odeon of Herodes Atticus.
  • At the Agora, gain insight into the celebrated birthplace of democracy.

Three temples form the Acropolis complex, the Parthenon, the Erechtheum and the temple dedicated to Athena Parthenos (Athena the Virgin). Today the Acropolis (meaning “hill city'') is Athens’ crowning glory: a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the world’s most important cultural monuments as the celebrated birthplace of democracy.

On this fascinating Private Tour of the Acropolis,  learn the sophisticated construction methods to build the citadel in the 5th century BCE. Study the most complete surviving ancient Greek monumental complex - having weathered earthquakes and battles with Amazons, Persians, Crusaders and Stormtroopers  - and explore the many reasons why the Acropolis induces involuntary gasps of breath from the millions who arrive in Athens to admire it. Beautiful and colossal in scale, this mesmerizing hill-top spectacle is the most-photographed landmark in Greece. On your private, guided  Acropolis tour, consider the importance of the structure as a universal symbol of the classical spirit and civilization. You will also discover some of the earliest theatres known to man at the Theatre of Dionysus and the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, as you climb the steep slope to marvel at the splendour of the Acropolis and enjoy truly striking panoramic views over Athens.
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