Why were the Greeks proud of themselves

acropolis

The Acropolis of Athens, the Castle Hill

The Acropolis is a place in Athens, the capital of Greece. There are some buildings from ancient times. One example is the Parthenon Temple: With its tall pillars, it can be seen from afar. The Acropolis is a symbol of the city, but also for all of Greece. Because the ancient Greeks were so important, it is also a landmark for the culture of Europe.

An acropolis is actually an upper town or a castle hill. This means a fortress on a mountain or hill. Many cities in ancient Greece or elsewhere had such fortresses. If you were attacked by enemies, you could retreat there and defend yourself. Most of the time, when you hear the word “Acropolis”, you think of the Acropolis of Athens, because it is the most important Greek city.

People lived there as early as the Stone Age. The ancient Greeks, around 2500 years ago, turned the fortress into a place for temples. With great buildings, the Athenians wanted to show how powerful they were.

Under the ruler Pericles, the place was completely rebuilt. This is what the Acropolis looks like today. But that was not always the case: many buildings were added over the centuries. Often foreign rulers had determined that. But in the 19th century the Greeks wanted to look proud of their own history and removed a lot. For archeology, the science of ancient things, that's a shame.

The Acropolis is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and today it attracts many vacationers. It is located on a mountain, about 150 meters high. That is why you can see it from afar, even though it is in the middle of Athens.

  • The Propylaea, the old entrance gate to the Acropolis

  • This painting is from 1846. This is what the mountain might have looked like in the days of the ancient Greeks.

  • The Franks built the tower. The Greeks demolished it in 1874.