The Acropolis of Athens is an ancient citadel located on a high rocky outcrop above the city of Athens and containing the remains of several ancient buildings of great architectural and historic significance, the most famous being the Parthenon.
The word acropolis comes from the Greek words ἄκρον (akron, "edge, extremity") and πόλις (polis, "city").
Although there are many other acropolis in Greece, the significance of the Acropolis of Athens is such that it is commonly known as "The Acropolis" without qualification.
While there is evidence that the hill was inhabited as far back as the fourth millennium BC, it was Pericles (c. 495 – 429 BC) in the fifth century BC who coordinated the construction of the site's most important buildings including the Parthenon, the Propylaia, the Erechtheion and the temple of Athena Nike.
The Parthenon and the other buildings were seriously damaged during the 1687 siege by the Venetians in the Morean War when the Parthenon was being used for gunpowder storage and was hit by a cannonball.
The Acropolis was formally proclaimed as the preeminent monument on the European Cultural Heritage list of monuments on 26 March 2007.
The entrance to the Acropolis was a monumental gateway called the Propylaea.
To the south of the entrance is the tiny Temple of Athena Nike.
At the centre of the Acropolis is the Parthenon or Temple of Athena Parthenos (Athena the Virgin).
East of the entrance and north of the Parthenon is the temple known as the Erechtheum.
South of the platform that forms the top of the Acropolis there are also the remains of an outdoor theatre called Theatre of Dionysus.
A few hundred metres away, there is the now partially reconstructed Theatre of Herodes Atticus.
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