The word acropolis means upper city in Greek language. This means that all the establishments built upon an elevated ground, often the hillock can be termed as acropolis. Thus Greek cities in Athens, Argos and Thebes also are categorized as acropolis. Acropolis,an Upper City is a settlement built on the elevated ground for the defense purpose. Such citadels exist in many parts of the world and the classic example being the ancient Rome, which in recent times grow to expand on the surrounding lower area such as modern Rome.
Acropolis of Athens is an ancient establishment on the high mountainous area above the city of Athens. This contains the remains of many buildings of huge historical and architectural significance; most famous amongst them is the Parthenon. The Acropolis of Athens is the only establishment that is referred to as “The Acropolis “.
This Acropolis is located on the hillock which has a plateau on top with an area of around 7.4 acres. The Acropolis is situated around 490 feet above sea level in the city of Athens. This was known as Cecropia in the ancient days. There is evidence that there was in-habitation on the hill way back in fourth century BC. The constructions of most of the site’s important buildings were done between 495 to 429 BC. Many famous buildings such as the Parthenon and the Propylaia, the Erechtheion and the temple of Athena Nike were made during this period.
Parthenon which is located at the center of the Acropolis was used for storage of gunpowder; however during the siege of 1687 in the Morean war this Parthenon was hit by cannon ball and seriously damaged. The entrance was a monumental gateway called Propylaea. In the south of the entrance is the Temple of Athena Nike, while at the eastern side is the temple known as Erechtheum. The temple of Athena Parthenos is situated at the center; this is the temple of Athena the virgin. All the ancient artifacts are now kept in the Acropolis museum situated near the Parthenon. There is no firm evidence of the construction of palace on the top of the Acropolis in the earlier era, and the palace seems to have been built during the later building activities.
The Acropolis was proclaimed as an important monument in the European Cultural Heritage list of monuments in the year 2007. The Acropolis is also declared as the UNESCO world heritage site. The archaeological remains on the site also include the remains of the outdoor theater named as theater of Dionysus at the southern part. And close to it is now reconstructed Theater of Herodes Atticus. Amongst the major archaeological remains are statue of Athena Promachos, Eleusinon, old temple of Athena, Chakotheke, Pandroseion, Arrephorion amongst the others.
During the Hellenistic and the Roman periods, many of the existing monuments were repaired. Those that were damaged due to age and the brunt of the war.