The Centre of the City

At the centre of many towns and cities in ancient Greece was a hill or rocky mound called an acropolis, a Greek word meaning 'high city.' People would retreat to the acropolis in times of attack or danger.

In earlier times, palaces were sometimes constructed on top of the acropolis, but later, temples were built there where they stood out and could be easily protected.

The most famous acropolis was in Athens. In 480 BC, the temples on top of the Acropolis were destroyed by the Persians. They were left in ruins as a war memorial. However by the second half of the fifth century BC, Athens had grown wealthy. Under the leadership of Perikles, citizens agreed to a huge building programme and new temples were designed.

The goddess Athena, the main patron deity of Athens, continued to be worshipped on the Acropolis, along with other gods and heroes.

To the Acropolis