What is the difference between Acropolis and the Parthenon?

The Acropolis and the Parthenon are two of the most famous ancient Greek landmarks and it is easy to understand why many may confuse them. The Acropolis is a large hill in the heart of Athens, which has been used as a fort and place of worship, among others, since antiquity. There are several important buildings on the Acropolis, with the most famous being the Parthenon - a temple dedicated to the goddess Athena.

The Acropolis hill offers a panoramic view of the city and the surrounding areas of Attica, while the buildings on its plateau reflect the architectural and engineering skills of the ancient Greeks. A major development of the citadel took place in the 5th century BC, following the Persian Wars.

Visitors can walk along the ancient road that leads to the top of the hill, enter the complex from the Propylaea (meaning “main entrance” in ancient Greek). From there, you can take in views of the Erechtheion, a temple thought to be dedicated to the mythical king of Athens, Erechtheus; the Temple of Athena Nike dedicated the goddess of Victory and the crown jewel of the Acropolis, the Parthenon.

The temple was dedicated to the goddess Athena, patron of the city and was designed by architects Iktinos and Kallikrates and sculptor Phidias. Constructed out of Pentelic marble, the most iconic building on the Acropolis and symbol of Western culture is a magnificent example of ancient Greek architecture. The massive Doric columns, intricately decorated frieze and metopes depicting ancient festivities and the gold and ivory statue of Athena that once stood inside the temple are all masterpieces of ancient craftsmanship.

An ambitious restoration program began in 1975 to restore the Acropolis, so unfortunately visitors can only admire the temples from the outside. Many of the artifacts from the temples, along with detailed information, can be viewed at the Acropolis Museum, which is at the foot of the hill.