The gate and main entry to the Acropolis is formed by the Propylaea, designed between 437 and 423. They form the entrance to the holy district and are flanked by halls in the north and in the south; the southernmost one never has been finished. The entrance hall, carried by columns, represents the Doric as well as the Ionic style, which is a little more recent. The Doric front columns in the center are about 9 m high and therefore a little bit lower than the Ionic ones in the entrance hall, those being about 10 m high.


The natural entry to the Acropolis was located on the rock's western side. It was there that the construction of a complex with three wings instead of a Propylons was begun (6th century b.C.). In its northern part, there is the Pinakotheke, the right wing has allowed the conception of an alleyway to the hall of Athena Nike. A building with two symmetric constructions was planned. Those made possible the creation of the forecourt, together with a benching opened towards west. In opposition to the great possibilities of construction that offered the northwest area, the plans in the southern part failed because of the closeness of Athena Nike's Sanctuary, and the ruins of a Mycenean fortress. Also, the area's unevenness did not allow more than the construction of a hexastyle fašade, that is, one with six columns in its front. Here one should hold on and become conscient of how marvellously Ancient master-builders have adapted the whole area to the uneven ground. The Pinakotheke could be finished with representations of the Trojan War. The difference of height at the hillside was compensated by a ramp.

Propylaea Propylaea, west side (entry) Propylaea, east side (on the Acropolis' plateau)

Planned works could not be finished due to Peloponnesian War. Behind the Propylaea, there where the sanctuaries of Artemis Hekate, Hermes Propylais and the three Graces as well as a fundament for Athena Hygieia's scultpure.

Propylaea and Agrippa's Monument

In order to conserve these unique monuments, restauration works are recently realised and led by the architect Tassos Tanoulas. A timber flooring protects the alleyway from damages. Two Ionic capitals, made of Penteli marble, have been used to restaurate the columns of the central corridor. They were made in the workshops of Evangelos Filaktos in Salonika. From the Propylaea, the Panathenaic Way led up to the Parthenon. What remains are rests of the statues that adorned the holy way together with artworks and devotional gifts.

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