The most prominent buildings on the Acropolis of Athens were all built in the fifth century BC under the supervision of statesman and general Pericles.
The Acropolis of Athens, with a surface area of roughly 3 hectares, is situated on a flattish-topped rock that rises 150 meters (490 feet) above sea level in Athens (7.4 acres). While the earliest artifacts date from the Middle Neolithic period, habitations from the Early Neolithic period have been discovered in Attica (6th millennium BC).
The Parthenon, at the center of the Acropolis, was built to thank the gods for the triumph over Persian invaders (though it also served as the city treasury for a time). The gateway Propylaea (which acts as the Acropolis’ entrance), the Erechtheion Temple (dedicated to Athena and Poseidon), and the modest but lovely Temple of Athena Nike are among the other notable structures.
During the Morean War in 1687, several of the buildings on the Acropolis were damaged. The majority of the ancient artifacts discovered within the temples that survived the damage have since been relocated to the nearby Acropolis Museum.
Many of the old buildings in the Acropolis region were renovated during the Hellenistic and Roman periods, due to age and, on rare occasions, war damage. Foreign kings were honored with monuments, including those of the Attalid kings of Pergamon, Attalos II (in front of the Parthenon’s NW corner) and Eumenes II (in front of the Propylaia). During the early Roman Empire, these were rededicated to Augustus or Claudius (uncertain) and Agrippa, respectively. Eumenes was also in charge of building a stoa on the South slope, similar to Attalos’ in the Agora.
German neoclassicist architect Leo von Klenze was responsible for the restoration of the Acropolis of Athens in the 19th century, according to German historian Wolf Seidl, as described in his book Bavarians in Greece.
The Acropolis Restoration Project began in 1975 with the goal of reversing centuries of attrition, pollution, military action destruction, and previous restorations that were misguided. The endeavor comprised collecting and identifying all stone fragments from the Acropolis and its slopes, including little ones, and attempting to rebuild as much as possible using reassembled original material (anastylosis), with additional marble from Mount Pentelicus used sparingly. All of the restoration was done with titanium dowels and is totally reversible in the event that future specialists decide to tweak things. The approach was developed using a combination of cutting-edge modern technology and considerable research and reinvention of ancient procedures.
The Parthenon colonnades were reconstructed after being substantially devastated by Venetian bombardment in the 17th century, with many incorrectly made columns now being properly placed. 686 stones were rebuilt from fragments of the originals, 905 were patched with new marble, and 186 portions were made wholly of new marble. The entire amount of new Pentelic marble used was 530 cubic meters.
The construction of additional reinforced concrete paths to the site in 2021, intended to improve accessibility, sparked debate among archaeologists.
Every four years, the Athenians held a festival known as the Great Panathenaea, which was as popular as the Olympic Games. A procession (believed to be shown on the Parthenon frieze) passed through the city on the Panathenaic Way, culminating on the Acropolis, during the celebration. During the yearly Lesser Panathenaea, a new woven wool robe (peplos) was placed on either the statue of Athena Polias in the Erechtheum or the statue of Athena Parthenos in the Parthenon (during the Great Panathenaea, held every four years).
Because of the region’s proneness to erosion and geological upheavals, the limestone on which the Acropolis is built is unstable. Rock slides could result from this instability, causing harm to the historic monument. Retaining walls, drainage systems, and rock bolts are among the precautions that have been put in place to protect the property. These measures are designed to counteract natural processes that are threatening the historic site.