The Athenian Acropolis is the ancient high city of Athens, a prominent plateaued rock perched high above the modern city with commanding views and an amazing array of ancient architecture, mostly from the Classical period of Ancient Greece, the most famous of which is the Parthenon.
An acropolis is a settlement, especially a citadel, built upon an area of elevated ground - frequently a hill with precipitous sides, chosen for purposes of defense. In many parts of the world, acropoleis became the nuclei of large cities of classical antiquity, such as ancient Rome, which in more recent times grew up on the surrounding lower ground, such as modern Rome.
The Acropolis is located on a flat-topped rock that rises 150 m (490 ft) above sea level in the city of Athens, with a surface area of about 3 hectares (7.4 acres). It was also known as Cecropia, after the legendary serpent-man, Cecrops, the first Athenian king. While the earliest artifacts date to the Middle Neolithic era, there have been documented habitations in Attica from the Early Neolithic (6th millennium BC).
There is little doubt that a Mycenaean megaron stood upon the hill during the late Bronze Age. Nothing of this megaron survives except, probably, a single limestone column-base and pieces of several sandstone steps. Soon after the palace was constructed, a Cyclopean massive circuit wall was built, 760 meters long, up to 10 meters high, and ranging from 3.5 to 6 meters thick. This wall would serve as the main defense for the acropolis until the 5th century.
Acropolis of Athens is open daily. Summer 08:00-19:00, until 15:00 Su and national holidays. Winter 08:00-sunset. +30 210 3214172. Get there as early as possible to avoid heavy crowds, and summer heat when relevant.
General admission is €12 but excellent concessions are available, as is free access to many categories of individuals, especially under-18s and European university students - check the official web site. There are also a limited number of free days for the public listed each year; again, check the website.