The Acropolis is easily one of the most famous historical sites in all of Greece. Tourists flock here from all over the world to visit the famous temples and ruins and witness the culture and history that has taken place here. So, why not learn a little more now? Here are some seriously fun facts about the Acropolis!
1. Where is the Acropolis?
If you would like to see the Acropolis for yourself, you’ll need to head straight to Athens, the capital of Greece. It remains the most complete Greek monumental complex to still exist – given its ancient age, that’s one heck of a feat.
2. The high city!
The word Acropolis comes from two Ancient Greek words. The first, ἄκρον, pronounced
ak-ron, means highest point, or extremity. The second, πόλις, pronounced polis, means city. The word Acropolis, therefore, means high city! It’s definitely accurate – you’ll see why!
3. An Acropolis here, an Acropolis there, Acropolises everywhere!
Believe it or not, there is actually more than one Acropolis! Since the word acropolis was used to describe fortified buildings on top of hills, there are multiple ones across Greece! For example, the Acrocorinth near Athens is technically an Acropolis, too!
4. It wasn’t born yesterday!
The Acropolis has definitely been through and seen a lot – it was built way back in the 5th Century BC! How its ruins have endured the centuries since is nothing short of amazing, and all the more reason why you should go give it a visit.
5. People once lived in the Acropolis.
Thanks to pottery pieces found in the Acropolis’ fortification, specialists were able to determine that the stricture was inhabited back in 4,000 BC! Not a bad place to call home, that’s for sure!
6. It was once a military fort.
Since the Acropolis is placed atop a hill, it was the perfect place for a military settlement. In fact, the first structures built on that very hill were walls that made the fort a citadel.
7. The fall of an Acropolis!
Once Xerxes and his Persian army entered the region, the resident Athenians knew they would not be able to protect their beloved Acropolis. Therefore, they left the area and headed towards the island of Salamina. Xerxes took the opportunity to destroy the whole city and the Acropolis. Not cool!
8. There are “newer” buildings on site.
One of the many things that the Acropolis is known for today is, of course, the buildings that are found on top of it. Buildings such as the Parthenon, the Propylaea, the Erqchtheion, and the Temple of Athena Nike can all be found on top of the Acropolis.
However, as old as these too may seem, they are not quite as old as the Acropolis. In fact, they were commissioned by Pericles and built (and again rebuilt) between 447 BC and 406 BC.
9. It’s a place of worship.
Although we usually attribute the Temple of Athena Nike as being the main place of worship in the Acropolis, as do we the Parthenon, the Acropolis already had its own temple before they were even built. Religious rituals were also held in the Erqchtheion, and it was dedicated to Athena and Poseidon.
10. Behold – beautiful bronze!
The Acropolis once famously had a huge statue of Athena made of bronze that stood on top of the area. The statue was known as Athena Promachos (which means the one who fights in the front line), and it was made by the famous Greek sculptor Phidias. Sadly, the statue is no longer there to be seen and only lives on in our memories – while they last!
FAQs about The Acropolis
What is the Acropolis famous for?
The Acropolis is famous today for being a long-standing symbol of the culture and spirituality of ancient Greece. It is also the greatest architectural and artistic location we have left of the country’s ancient times!
Are the Parthenon and the Acropolis the same thing?
The Parthenon and the Acropolis are not, in fact, the same thing. The Parthenon was built atop the Acropolis.
Why is the Acropolis worth visiting?
The Acropolis is the oldest and most well-preserved remnant we have of Ancient Greece. It is a major pilgrimage point for fans of ancient human history, and those studying theology and religion of the area going back centuries. Beyond that, it’s an awe-inspiring sight all on its own!
Do you know any fun facts about the Acropolis? Share them in the comments below!