If you’re planning a trip to Athens, you’ll surely want to explore the city’s unique ancient past. Then a visit to the Athenian Acropolis is a must, and with it, a stop by the world-famous Parthenon.
The Parthenon is a former temple on the Acropolis, which was built to honour the goddess Athena, the patron of Athens. The centre of religious life in the Ancient Greek capital, the Parthenon, was built in the 5th century BC and is one of the most impressive examples of religious architecture in its style.
The Parthenon has seen plenty of action throughout its centuries, which you can learn about when visiting the nearby museum. Today, it’s one of the most iconic attractions for holidaymakers in the Greek capital. Whether you’re visiting Athens to shop, explore, or simply relax in the sun, don’t miss your chance to see this world-famous ancient site.
The Parthenon was built in the middle of the 5th century BC, dedicated to Athena, the Greek Goddess of Wisdom and War, after whom Athens is named. It’s set in a commanding position, high on a limestone hill overlooking Athens below.
Once, a large gold and ivory statue of the goddess stood inside the temple, cementing it as the most lavish temple the Greek mainland had ever seen. The 12-metre figure showed Athena, fully armed, wearing a goatskin shield, holding a 6-foot tall statue of the goddess Nike in her right hand.
Pericles ordered the design and construction of the Parthenon as a temple to Athena. However, some historians believe an older temple stood on the site before.
Throughout history, the Acropolis of Athens has been a home to royalty, a citadel, a religious centre, and now, a tourist attraction. The temple saw earthquakes, fires, wars, and riots throughout the centuries, making it a powerful symbol of the Greek capital through time.
The structure of the Parthenon has suffered damage with time. Still, much of the white marble building, including its towering columns, remains intact. That means visitors can get a good idea of what the monument was like centuries ago!
And while many of the ornate carvings and sculptures which once adorned the temple are gone, you can still see them in museums around Athens and at the British Museum in London.
The Parthenon is the most iconic monument in the Ancient Acropolis at Athens, and why many people visit. There are two entrances to the Acropolis, one on its west side and one at the southeast corner.
The easiest way to get there from the city is by metro, which you can take to the station called Acropoli. From there, it’s two minutes walk to the southeast entrance.
Is the Ancient Acropolis free to visit? Unfortunately not, but the cost of your tickets helps with the upkeep of this monumental area. The price is around €20 but may vary, and your ticket gets you into the whole site. You’ll also be able to visit Propylaea, the temple of Athena Nike, Erechtheion, and the Odeon of Herodes Atticus.