The Buildings of the Acropolis

The Buildings of the Acropolis Statue of Athene Parthenos from The Greeks documentary

The winding rocky path that led up to the Acropolis was surrounded by numerous small shrines, including one to the god Pan, who had appeared to the runner Phidippides before the battle of Marathon.

At its top was the Propylaeum, an entryway and façade that formed the gateway to the Acropolis. Once inside the 'sacred precinct' the most fabulous building was the Parthenon, the surviving ruins of which are what most people associate with Ancient Greece.

The Parthenon was started in 447 BC and completed some fifteen years later. It housed both a treasury and a sanctuary to Athena, in which was placed a fantastic 12-meter high ivory and gold statue of the goddess Athena, called the Athena Parthenos.

Numerous smaller temples and shrines dedicated to both mythical ancestors and Greek gods were also to be found on the Acropolis. These included the Temple of Athena Nike, as well as the huge imposing statute of Athena Promachos, which stood 10 meters tall and could be seen from some 5 kilometers out to sea.

Combining three buildings into one structure, the other great building of the Acropolis was the Erechtheum. It contained shrines and sites whose origin stretched back to Mycenean times, and it was here, according to Ancient Greek mythology, that the goddess Athena had defeated the sea-god Poseidon in her battle to win possession of the city. Within the temple also dwelt the goddess' sacred snake.

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The building of the Parthenon
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