Acropolis slopes

Most tourists in the inspection of the Athenian Acropolis are limited to a visit to its upper part, where they look at the famous temples and visit the viewing platform with stunning species. Some? In addition to the MUST SEE program, in which Erehechyon, propilenes and the Temple of Ereheheton include, are watching another southern slope where the attic and theater of Dionysus is being photographed against the background of Odeon. And only a small part of particularly inquisitive tourists explores all the slopes of the Acropolis and looks into his caves, admires the ancient altars and not very typical views of Athens. Our acquaintance with the Greek capital actually began with the excursion on the slopes, we decided to first see them, and only then climb up the inspection of temples. If you have little time, then this walk is quite possible to neglect, but personally we really liked. First, it was interesting, and secondly, there were no tourists at all, only a couple of curious Chinese with the same enthusiasm climbed to each tablet and climbed into every corner. In today’s article, our small virtual excursion on the slopes of the Athenian Acropolis.

View of the North and West Sloples of the Acropolis with the Hill of Areopag

Southern Acropolis Slope

Let’s start our excursion from the southern slope, on which the main part of the attractions and the most significant archaeological monuments are located. We dedicated this to the slope of a separate article in which they spoke in detail about all the most interesting places. If briefly, it is necessary to take pictures on the background Odion Gerods attic, View on the ruins of the temple of Askletpion and sit on marble benches Theater of Dionysus.

Southern Acropolis Slope

Oriental slope acropolis

The eastern slope is perhaps the most reluctal attractions, but this is quite simple – at the moment there are no large-scale archaeological research here, and perhaps under the ground is still hiding, something that amuses us. It is difficult to believe that such a significant part of the slopes have not been used by the ancient Greeks.

View of the eastern slope of the Acropolis of Olympion

Some works are carried out, but most likely they relate to the reconstruction of the monument on the southern slope

Cave Aglavros

The most outstanding attraction on the east side of the Acropolis is a huge cave, which is seen from afar. This is the largest cave in the city (22x14m). In 1980, a marble stele was found next to the cave, dated III century BC. It was this discovery that I gave an unequivocal answer that this is nothing like the sanctuary of Nymph Aglavros.

Before that, the researchers believed that it was located on the northern slope, because according to one of the legends, the aglavros’ sanctuary led the secret underground move from the temple of Erehechtion. If you look at the acropolis scheme, then believe it is difficult. According to Herodota, it was through this secret course in 480 to our era Persians entered the Acropolis.

Aglavros cave location scheme (34) and Erehechteion (4)

Aglavros is one of the three daughters of the mythical king of Kecrops, the goddess of dew and the evidence of drought. Many myths are connected with her name. According to one of them, the goddess of the war handed over the three daughters of Kecrops a closed box, in which the baby Erehette was (the serpentine son of the Earth), and strictly banned them to look into it. Aglarea and one of her sisters could not cope with curiosity and opened it. After they saw an unusual child, they were horrified and rushed from the cliff. Well, in the place of their death a cave appeared.

There is another myth: Oracle Apollo reported that the long siege of the city would end only if someone voluntarily sacrifice himself. Aglavros decided to take it down and rushed down. At the place of her death, the sanctuary was arranged, in front of which young Athenians (18 years old, stern) brought the oath (confirmed that they were ready for the same feats as Aglareaver in the name of their city), and then received their spears and shields.

There is nothing more to look at the eastern slope, but a pleasant bonus for a walk on it goes great views of the hill Likavitos and Athens.

Hill Licks in Athens

Northern Acropolis Slope

If temples and theaters are located on the southern slope, the northern part of the acropolis rock can boast of caves, sacral places and holy source. It was the northern slope that played an important role in the religious life of Athenian. Interesting places here are a lot, but for some reason the tourists look here are infrequent. We will try to tell about the most important of them.

Scheme of the northern slope of the Acropolis

  1. Lion gate
  2. Entrance to Acropolis (covered in winter)
  3. Wall hyppanti
  4. Medieval way
  5. Church of St. Nicholas
  6. Justianian tank
  7. Wall Gerullov
  8. Panathenian Path
  9. Clepsydra
  10. Ruins of Bastion Odyssey
  11. Wall Khaseki
  12. Ruins of residential houses
  13. Road peripath
  14. Caves Zeus and Apollo
  15. Chapel of St. Athanasius in Pan Cave
  16. Mycena Fountain
  17. Church of the Savior
  18. Altar Aphrodite in the garden
  19. Columns of Old Parthenon
  20. Inscription on the peripate and the secret

Road Peripatos, inscription on the peripate and the secret course

Peripathos is the road around the Acropolis, which connects all the slopes. It existed in many years BC and the confirmation of this is a huge stone, known as "inscription on the peripate" (Peripatos Inscription), on which the name of the road and its length is carved. The inscription was supposedly made in the IV century BC.

Mystery to the top of the acropolis

Next to the stone there is a secret course. If you believe legend, then its length is about 35 meters, and he leads to one of the porticors of the Temple of Erehechteion (yes, as from the Aglavra cave on the Eastern slope). But there is another version: This course is not a secret, but an ordinary well with stairs systems, through which people from Acropolis descended water. Most likely it was built in Mycken times (1600-1100 BC).

Scheme of a mystery or well in the Acropolis

Altar Aphrodite in the garden

Sanctuary Aphrodites in the garden, unlike most other altars of the northern slope, is in the open sky, and not in the cave. In the ancient sanctuary, the honors were rewarded not only the goddess of fertility, but her son Eros, which is why the second name of this place is "Altar Aphrodite and Eros".

Altar Aphrodite in the gardens

Now tourists can see small niches in the rock, in antiquity they were located small gifts in the form of figurines or VAZ. As a rule, religious rites of agricultural themes were performed here, because, above all, Aphrodite was responsible for fertility.

The entrance to the upper part of the tourist altar is now closed, but the niches are visible to the naked eye

According to the legend, it is near the sanctuary of Aphrodite and Erosa held a secret rite in honor of Athena Polyady. He passed with the participation of girls arrefory. Arreforia is young residents of Athens at the age of 7-12 years, who were served during the sacrament, and also courted for the sacred olive all the rest of the time that were in the Acropolis. The word "arrefory" itself consists of two parts, which literally mean "Riddle" and "I carry". These are these two phrases, as it is impossible to describe the process of mystical ritual.

According to the descriptions of PAsania, in one of the nights during the holiday of the priestess Athens passed the vessels and baskets girls and the priestess itself, nor the girls knew what was inside. Then the girls went down the secret staircase, held by the small sanctuary of Eros and Aphrodites, and carried the basket in the sacred place. There they left their offering and took other baskets, while they again did not know what is inside. After the girls brought secret items from Zhrice, they were released from service and returned to parents. Apparently, a story with a snake-shaped baby, about which we wrote above (in the section about the Aglavros cave), just takes his roots in this secret ritual.

Columns of Old Parthenon

The temple of Parfenon, which we can see these days, was built on the ruins of a more ancient temple, which is called old Pafenon or Pre-Parfenon. Its construction began approximately in 490-488 to our era. But in 480 BC.NS. Persians came to Athens and destroyed all the buildings of the Acropolis, including unfinished temple. From that ancient Parfenon to this day several columns have been preserved, especially well they are visible from the northern slope.

Columns on the northern slope in the area of ​​the Erehechyon Temple (scientists suggest that these are columns of old parthenone).

Whether one of the columns of the old Parfenon, whether the part of the Altar Athens and Eros

Miktensky fountain on the northern slope of the Acropolis

Another interesting place on the northern slope of the Acropolis is the so-called Mycena Fountain, and in fact it is a small cave, called the altar of Ersi. For quite a long time, this small cave was considered the cave Aglavros, in which a secret rite was committed in honor of the goddess Athena, but excavations on the eastern slope and a more detailed study of the Northern showed that this assumption turned out to be incorrect. The Mycene Drinking Fountain was supposedly built in the thirteenth century BC, during his excavation a lot of VAZ and vessels were found, which can now be seen in the new Acropolis Museum or in the National Archaeological Museum.

The fountain was a deep well, and to gain water, it was necessary to go down the stairs. In fact, it was another secret move to the Acropolis, which first served the ancient Greeks, and then played an important role in the years of World War II. During the German occupation of Greece on the night of May 30 to May 31, 1941, two Greek communists Apostolos Santas and Manolis Gliewski through a Mycena Fountain rose to the Acropolis and threw the Nazi flag. It is believed that it was the first act of resistance to invaders in Greece, made Glivesos and Santas by national heroes.

A myxal fountain through which Glzosos and Santas passed into the guarded territory

Talking about the northern slope, it is impossible not to mention another object that has nothing to do with history, but at the same time it is also very important and valuable. Not far from the Mycena Fountain there is an elevator for the disabled, established in 2015. This elevator allows people with disabilities to see their eyes the majestic Parthenon, Mysterious Caryatid and other treasures of Acropolis.

Elevator in Acropolis

Acropolis slopes and what to see them, the description of the northern slope

Caves – the main attractions of the northern slope of the Acropolis. So that tourists can inspect them, special walkways were built, which allow you to rise to the level of caves and admire them not only outside, but also from the inside.

Northern Slope Acropolis Cave

Pan’s Cave and St. Athanasius Chapel

The first cave, about which we want to tell, wears the name of the cave Pan. This small deepening in the rock is dedicated to the god of forests and shepherds Pan. The festivities in honor of this saint were specially popular in Athens after the victory in the marathon in 480 to our era. If you believe the records of Herodotus, Pan (sometimes you can meet the name of Peng) appeared on the battlefield and brought horror to the Persians and thus helped the Athenians to win such a necessary victory, despite the fact that the enemies were numerically superior to the Greeks.

Pan Cave on the Northern Acropolis

View from Pan’s cave on an ancient agor and the temple of Hephaest

Little tourists in Pan Cave

In the Christian years in Pan’s cave, the church of St. Athanasius was arranged. If you believe the guides, then the traces of the frescoes have been preserved in it, but we have not been looking for them, you could not find.

Chapel of Saint Afania in Christian times

Cave Zeus

The largest of the three caves of the northern slope is devoted to Zeus, it dates back to the fifth century BC. Each spring came here the Athenians came to see the sign of the most important god, who from Mount Parnass pointed them to the Delphi – where the lightning hit, there and need to go to the sacred fire.

On the right of the Zeus cave, on the left one of the entrances to the cave Pan

In 2017, work was carried out to strengthen the consignments of the cave, so considering it in detail, unfortunately, was not possible.

Zeus Cave on the Northern Acropolis

Cave Apollo

The last cave in this trio is dedicated to Apollon. By tradition, the selected archons were given their second oath (as a rule, there were 9), the first oath was given at the Altar of Apollo Patrosse. Here they swore, they will rule correctly and will not use public property for personal purposes. After the service, the Archonts were returned to the Apollo Cave again and left here a memorial laurel or mytt wreaths here. During excavations, the cave was found quite a lot of similar boards.

Apollo Cave in Acropolis

If you look closely, you can see the niches on the walls in which the signs were probably mounted

Source Klepsidra

Directly under the caves there is a source of Klepsidra. Despite the fact that it is on the northern slope of the Acropolis, it was possible to get to him directly from the central entrance to the Acropolis (from the propylene). Some tourists probably noticed that the staircase and small gates are conducted from propylene, which in our days are closed. This entry was used to access the sacred cave, where the source of Klepsider was.

At the top of the photo, a wicket is visible from propylene on the northern slope (now closed, and the staircase is destroyed)

Location of secret travel to Klepsidra

Klepsidron source is considered one of the most oldest in Athens. In the literal translation of Klepsider means "stolen water", scientists suggest that this name appeared due to the fact that in the summer months water, as a rule, disappears. But, perhaps, in this case, the more correct translation of "hidden water".

Klepsider source on the northern slope of the Acropolis

Klepsidra was one of three sources in the Acropolis, which were fed on rainwater. Archaeologists suggest that water from this source of the Athenians began to use back in the XIII century to our era. In the V century BC, he was turned into a fountain. In the Christian period of water, Klepsidra was considered holy and next to the source the church is erected.

When the church was destroyed, the source was buried under her ruins, which was found again only in 1822, when Athens were temporarily released from Turkish invaders.

Bastion Odyssey

During the war of the independence of Greece in 1822, the Acropolis was freed from the Turks, and the first commandant became Odyssey Andrutos. He ordered to build near the caves of Zeus, Apollo and Pan Bastion, who had to protect the Klepsider source and, in the case of the siege of the Acropolis, to provide it with water. It was built mainly from the ruins of ancient monuments. Before this day, the bastion was not preserved – in 1888 he was dismantled, parts of ancient monuments gained a second life, but already as the exhibits of the Acropoli Museum.

Whether part of the source of Klepsider, whether what remained from Bastion Odyssey

Whether part of the source of Klepsider, whether what remained from Bastion Odyssey

Other landmarks of the northern slope

In addition to the caves and the source, the ruins of ancient houses are also located on the northern slope and what remains of the fortification walls of different periods. So the wall of Haceki (Osmans times) is adjacent to the wall, built after the attack of Georulov.

Wall Hacegei in Acropolis

As a rule, tourists rarely enter this part of the Acropolis, and during our visit she was completely blocked due to the filming of some kind of documentary film.

Recognize among the gates of the gate without accompanying tablets is impossible

Some guidebooks include the source of Klepsider and the cave to the western slope of the Acropolis, and not to the Northern. Probably, from the point of sight of the geographical position, this is true, but we decided to stick to the data specified on the signs to not confuse readers and not get confused by yourself.

Entrance to the northern slope from the central entrance

Western acropoline slope

To the western slope of the Acropolis, it is customary to attribute entrance gates, the Montument of Agrippa, the Temple of Nicky and Propylene, sometimes it falls into this list Hill Areopag, But it is not entirely true, as he is on the side.

Reconstruction of the Acropolis, on which the North and West Slopes are clearly visible

Acropolis input diagram and location of objects on a western slope

Gate Bul

The gate, through which these days, tourists fall into the upper part of the Acropolis, are called the gate of the Bul, in honor of the French archaeologist, who "excavated" in 1852. This entry was built before the propellants much later than the main buildings of the Acropolis. This happened in the third century of our era, when the wall was erected after the defeat of the gerulov (approximately 280 of our era).

The gate was a powerful fortification structure consisting of two unequal towers (pylons). The construction was carried out from limestone extracted in Pirae and residues of more ancient ancient facilities. So, for example, archaeologists found part of the antique in the gate Memorial Nikia, which was located on the southern slope of the Acropolis.

Gate of the Bullet before

Pedestal Agrippa

Another interesting object on the western slope of the Acropolis – Montument Agrippe. As a rule, tourists pass by further to the staircase of the propiletia, and this massive pedestal is disregarded. Like other monuments of the Sacred Rock, Pedestal Agrippa has an impressive story. Based on the restored inscription and architectural features, scientists concluded that it was installed in the second century BC. Now it is just a massive podium, but then, many centuries ago, a bronze monument to Evenman II and Atalla was installed on it (those most like their famous Staa in Agore and on the southern slope).

Pedestal Agrippe in Acropolis

The monument has a height of almost 9 meters and is made, as many other objects of the Acropolis, from marble. The attentive reader will have a completely reasonable question – why the monument to the Pergamm kings, and the name is completely different? The fact is that in the 27th century BC, a new monument appeared on the pedestal, it became a bronze chariot again, but it was dedicated to Marcus Agrippe. What happened to the sculptures of Eveme and Atalla – Unknown. Maybe they were transferred to another place or melted. But there is another version, according to which the sculpture was the same, simply, it was simply renamed it from time to time, because Herodotus, and other ancient Greek travelers described it as a bronze quadrigue in two riders. And who was already it, they were tried solely on the inscription on the pedestal, so at different times it was Eschange and Attal, Anthony and Cleopatra, and then Agrippa and August.


Finish your virtual excursion on the slopes of the Acropolis, we would like to die. Usually, propilenes called the main or main entrance to the Acropolis, which was decorated with portico, columns and, of course, the front staircase. Propylai of the Athenian Acropolis were built in about the 5th century BC of the famous ancient Naphine architect. The story of the propelled saturated and interesting, which fully claims a separate major article.

Offilers of the Athenian Acropolis

Instead of imprisonment

A visit to the slopes of the Athenian Acropolis is included in the ticket price, but tourists from the lack of time are rarely looked here. They can be understood, because they come to Athens for a couple of days to see the famous Parfenon, theater of Dionysus, Agora and other ancient monuments, they simply sorry to spend time to inspect the caves in which little preserved. All the beauty of these places you understand only when you immerse yourself in their history, traditions and legends. We spent on a walk on the slopes for more than an hour and never regretted it – it was very interesting and unusual.

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