If someone only names the acropolis , we abruptly know he is talking about The Acropolis of Athens at Greece which is a landmark of the ancient Greek history. This herculean structure of 5th century B.C is one of the many acropolises existing in Athens but this is the most ostentatious and a true emblem of the dignity of ancient Greeks. Spread over an area of 3 hectares , the structure of Acropolis of Athens is almost 495 feet high above sea level and it has witnessed all ups and downs of the history of Athens for the last five millenniums. The Acropolis of Athens is also named as Cecropia.
The Acropolis of Athens is situated in the valley of Ilisos and it has been used as sacred worship place, a citadel and palaces simultaneously. A great fortification wall known as Pelasgicon was constructed around the Acropolis of Athens in the late Bronze Age which remained in use for many centuries even after the collapse of Mycenaean civilization. The Acropolis of Athens was destroyed by the Dorians in the 12th century B.C by a fire and it was reconstructed by Hipparchus in 514 B.C and Hippias in 510 B.C but the Pelasgicon was permanently demolished by them declaring it as vicious. By now the position of the Acropolis of Athens was not only as a complex of palaces but had turned more into a sanctuary of goddess Athena. It was visited by a huge number of worshippers every year who used to decorate the wooden statue of Athena and attend the Panathenean games festival comprising of athletic and musical competitions.
In 480 B.C the Acropolis of Athens was occupied by the Persians who completely destroyed the Acropolis. The Persians were defeated again by the Greek but the Acropolis of Athens laid in ruins until it was reconstructed on a massive scale in the middle of 5th century B.C by Pericles who was a prominent and influential statesman, orator, and general of Athens . Furthermore the famous Parthenon, the Erechtheion, the Propylaia, and the temple of Athena Nike were also built which are now the preserved parts of all of the Acropolis complex.
The Parthenon was constructed as symbol of thanks to the goddess Athena . The building was also known as Temple of Athena the Virgin. It later became the most iconic structure of the Acropolis of Athens and also functioned as a treasury, a fortress, a church, and a mosque. The Parthenon was beautified with superb marble sculptures both from inside and outside as well. According to some archeologists it was painted in bright and red colour.
The Erechtheum or Erechtheion was actually a temple which was constructed on a slope in the north of Acropolis of Athens. Marble stone was used in its total construction and its doorways and windows were amazingly carved. The columns were embellished with gilt bronze and multi-colored inset glass beads. It was a center for the religious offerings of the ancient Greeks and many holy relics were preserved here.
The great Prοpylaia was actually a gate-house which was built in 432 B.C just before the outbreak of the Peloponnesian wars at the entrance to the Acropolis of Athens. The Popylaia was constructed with white pen telic marble and limestone. The whole building was consisted of two adjoining wings one on the northern side and one on the southern side. It had a wall pierced by five doors the tallest was right in the middle and was the one used for processions.
The temple of Athena Nike was contrived in the southwest of the Acropolis plateau, right next to the Propylaia. It was built on a strategic location which was the most accessible spot. The temple was designed by Kallikrates and it was renovated with carved strips.
The great Greek Athenian Acropolis or Acropolis of Athens has faced many incidents which has time to time deteriorated its construction including the natural disasters , unauthentic restoration efforts and acts of wars. In 1975 a complete restoration project was started with an aim to restore its structure in actual form and the collection and identification of all of its stone fragments. Now it has been restored although not fully but to the most extent. An entirely new Acropolis museum is also constructed under the south slope of the Acropolis of Athens in Dionyssiou Areopagitou street .The museum contains amazing artworks , sculptures , excavations, the historic statues of the Caryatides and parts of the Parthenon Frieze.
The Acropolis of Athens which is a fabulous landmark of Greek history no doubt symbolizes one of the most ancient and advanced civilizations of the world. It has offered for the last many centuries till present enormous subjects related to archeology. It is one of the most distinguished historical sites listed in the UNECO world heritage.