Translated from the Greek, meaning 'the highest city', the Acropolis is perched above the modern city of Athens on a 3 hectare plateau and is home to the remnants of ancient Athens. Many of the ruins still present were constructed in the 5th century BC in the time known as the Golden Age of Athens.
The most recognisable and largest structure on the ancient plateau is the Parthenon - a temple which was constructed over a period of 10 years from 447BC and was dedicated to the goddess of Athena, the protector of Athens. The Parthenon was later transformed into a church in the 5th century devoted to the worship of the Virgin Mary and became a mosque in the 15th century. In the 17th century it was largely destroyed when it was hit by cannon fire whilst being used as a gunpowder repository.
Other notable structures on the Acropolis are the Propylea, the Erectheion, the Temple of Athena Nike, and the Odeon of Herodes Atticus - an ancient theatre that has been resurrected to house modern theatrical productions.
In recent times the Greek government has undertaken many sympathetic restorations to protect and stabilise the structures. Nowadays the Acropolis is a richly historical site that gives a wonderful insight into ancient Greek history as much as it offers a spectacular view of modern-day Athens.
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