The complex of temples, shrines and other ruins located on the Acropolis hill are identified with the Golden Age of Pericles in the 5th century BC, and are the foundation of European culture. The reconstruction of the Acropolis began immediately after the defeat of the Persians (479 BC) and was intensified in the time of Pericles. The work was supervised by the architects, Iktinos, Kallikratis, Mnesicles and Callimachus. The most famous sculptor of all time, Phidias, was responsible for the artistic works adorning the site. In 1987 the Acropolis was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- The Propylaea, a complex monumental gateway which is the main entrance to the Acropolis and is built of white marble from Mount Pentelicus.
- The temple of Athena Nike. Built in the Ionic order and considered to be a masterpiece of the classical era. It was built by Kallikrates.
- The Erechtheion. Dates from 420 BC and is considered a unique example of the late Ionic order. The six Caryatids (sculptures of female figures which support the roof in the place of columns) are the highlight of this building. A Caryatid and a column from the Erechtheion were stolen in the early 19th century by Lord Elgin and are now on display in the British Museum. Their places are currently taken by replicas.
The Parthenon. Built in the Doric order and dedicated to Athena Parthenos, the Parthenon is the most complete building architecturally and the greatest architectural achievement of the Athenian Republic. It was built between 448 BC and 438 BC and advanced mathematics were used in the architectural planning for the building works. The genius-like use of innovations, subtle refinements and deliberately uneven pillars, gives us the optical illusion that the temple is reaching upwards - it is “ready for take-off!”
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