Acropolis of Athens, Athens, Greece
GPS: 37.971829723634, 23.726115172892
The Acropolis of Athens is one of the greatest ancient sites in the European and Western world. Meaningful “upper city” or “top of the city”, this white marble sanctuary is built on a rocky plateau by a former Athenian leader, by the name of Pericles, about five centuries before our era. This statesman is helped in his task by several artisans of the first Greek classicism including the sculptor Phidias, the architects Ictinus and Callicrates. The fabulous vestiges of the Acropolis of Athens symbolize the golden age of the civilization of Classical Greece. This succeeds in the history of the people and great navigators of the Aegean Sea to the civilizations of the Cyclades (-3000 years), Minoan (-1500 years) and Mycenaean (-1000 years).
From the top of its sacred rock dominating the Agora (ancient main square of the city of Athens), the Acropolis is made up of a collection of eminent archaeological sites visible from the four corners of the Greek capital. The three most remarkable monuments are the Propylaea (the monumental entrance to the site), the Parthenon (the Doric jewel of the Acropolis) and the Erechtheum (the temple with refined architecture). They are erected from tens of thousands of tonnes of marble, thanks to cultural treasures imported from the sanctuary of the island of Delos, in the Cyclades archipelago. Formerly decorated with bright colours, the architectural ensemble of the Acropolis of Athens retains superb sculptural richness protected by a long wall of enclosure.
The Acropolis of Athens is a great place of worship dedicated to the goddess Athena Nike (embodying warfare, handicraft and wisdom) as well as to many other deities of Greek mythology. It represents not only a sanctuary but also a religious and cultural centre. The Acropolis site is known to be the cradle of Athenian democracy, as imagined by Pericles, and of philosophy (represented by the writings of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and several schools of Greek thoughts). It is also a place of emergence of art, of a model based on the equality of citizens and the notion of the free individual, concepts on which the societies of the modern era are largely based. According to archaeologists, this fortified site includes even older temples that have served as a foundation for millennial temples still in place. A large museum exhibits objects from intense excavations carried out at the scene. The oldest artefacts go back to Prehistory, proof that this high plateau of Athens has been inhabited since the time of the Neolithic 12,000 years ago.