Last Updated: 14th Jul 2012
The Acropolis was traditionally the highest and therefore most easily defended point of any ancient city in Greece. Although technically not the highest point of Athens, the rock, now known the world over simply as ‘The Acropolis’, was chosen because it has a source of water, vital in times of siege. Most Contiki Tours visiting Athens include a tour of the Acropolis including the Parthenon. People travel Europe and the world to lay eyes on this symbol of Greece, democracy and the ancient world.
The Temple of Athena Parthenon is the most famous but is only one of the temples and theaters perched on top of the Acropolis. It is one of the continuing symbols of democracy and the ancient world and one of the most widely recognized structures in the world.
The whole Temple was used by the occupying Ottoman Turks as a gun powder store and in unusual and still unknown circumstances, the powder ignited – blowing the temple to pieces. Lord Elgin of Britain then moved in and legally purchased much of the marble sculptures and friezes. Today the temple is still undergoing meticulous reconstruction but the Athenians now want their ‘Parthenon Marbles’ back from the British Museum in London.
The Acropolis is also home to the area where St Paul, the most important evangelist for the early Christian Church in Greece, stood and preached to the people while this are was also home to the first democracy established by the ancient Athenians.