In order to bring you the best possible user experience, this site uses Javascript. If you are seeing this message, it is likely that the Javascript option in your browser is disabled. For optimal viewing of this site, please ensure that Javascript is enabled for your browser.
visitgreece.blog.gr

Acropolis fortification wall

Because of its geomorphology, the Acropolis has been a refuge since prehistoric times. The first, so-called 'Cyclopean' wall, was built along the top of the hill in the Mycenaean period, at approximately 1200 BC. Remains of this wall are still visible to the southeast of the Propylaia, while its course can be traced fairly accurately. A curved enclosure wall, the co-called 'Pelargic' wall mentioned by Thucydides, was also built to the northwest during this period. 

This wall had several doors, hence its name 'enneapylon' (nine-doored). The main entrance to the fortress was on the west side, next to a bastion, which later supported the temple of Athena Nike

This Mycenaean wall remained in use with minor repairs and changes until 480 BC, when it was severely damaged by the Persians.

After the departure of the Persians, both the city of Athens and the Acropolis were given new walls. The northern, or Themistoclean, wall was the first to be built using material from the monuments destroyed by the Persians. North of the Erechtheion one may notice the unfinished marble drums of the Pre-Parthenon, while further to the west are fragments from the entablature (cornices, triglyphs and metopes) from the Old temple of Athena. 

The southern, or Kimonean, wall was erected under Kimon after the victory at Eurymedon in 467 BC. The wall's construction necessitated the creation of a terrace along the south edge of the hill. It, too, used building material (epistyles) from the Old temple and the Pre-Parthenon. The wall remained in use and was built up to approximately the height of the Parthenon under Perikles.

After the Herulian invasion in the third century AD, another wall was built west of the Propylaia. Of its two gates, only the west one, the so-called Beulé gate, stands to this day. 

 

The Acropolis became a fortress once again and was used as such until the nineteenth century. Another south wall with two bastions, the so-called Koulas, demolished in the nineteenth century, and a second one located at the present Belvedere, were built in the thirteenth century. The southeast corner of the fortification wall was repaired one last time after the Second World War.

explore Greece by region

Visitgreece.gr is the official tourism web site for Greece, run by the Greek National Tourism Organisation, where you'll find information on the main tourist destinations, such as cities, beaches, as well as activities, events and much more!

All content included on this site consists intellectual property of GNTO and you are not allowed to reproduce the whole or part of this work in any way without the written permission of GNTO. 
For information please contact: webmaster@gnto.gr    All Rights Reserved. GNTO © 2014.