Akropolis Surroundings

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Walk around the Rock!
North slope
Cave of Aglauros
Sanctuary of Pan
Shrine of Eros and Aphrodite
Street of the Tripods

Northwest slope

Cave of Apollo Hypoakraios
Shrine of Zeus Olympios

South slope

Sanctuary of Dionysos
Shrine of Nymphe
Spring House of the Nymphs
Theater of Dionysos

West slope

Shrine of Aphrodite Pandemos


The peripatos path ran all around the rock. Several sanctuaries were located between this path and the rock itself.

The north slope counted several very old sanctuaries and shrines located in caves or small open-air precincts while the south slope was mainly dedicated to the cult of Dionysos (sanctuary, theater and concert hall).

On the west slope of the Akropolis, part of an old Mycenaean Wall known as the Pelargikon, Pelasgikon or Enneapylon who had served as an outer defense for the Akropolis was still in place around 430 BC. This fortification enclosed two springs: the Spring House of the Nymphs (later known as the Asklepeion spring) and the Klepsydra. It also enclosed two yet unidentified temples to the south and southwest of the Spring House of the Nymphs. The Enneapylon was destroyed during this period. However, the precinct of the Asklepeion, founded in 419/418 BC, was clearly separated from the Enneapylon by its own wall which tends to indicate that the Enneapylon was still standing during our period of reference (421 BC).

Further west, there were also several ancient buildings whose origins could be traced back to the Old Agora (not the actual Agora who was now located in the Inner Kerameikos).

Later Features

During our period of reference (421 BC), the sanctuary of Asklepios and Hygieia had not yet been founded. It was only the following year, in 420 BC, that Telemakhos, an Athenian citizen, went to Epidauros and brought back the god Asklepios and his daughter Hygieia to Athens. However, we do not know the form under which he brought them back (snakes, statues...). A shrine was then built on the south slope of the Akropolis to the west of the sanctuary of Dionysos.

In 320 BC, the Khoregic Monument of Nikias and Thrasyllos was erected on the south slope of the Akropolis, overlooking the Theater of Dionysos.

Around 170 BC, King Eumenes II of Pergame erected a stoa to the west of the Theater of Dionysos, along the Peripatos road.

In 160 AD, Herodes Atticus, a wealthy benefactor of the city of Athens, built the Odeion ,who later bore his name, in memory of his wife Regilla.


Brouskari, Maria; The Monuments of the Acropolis, Athens: Archaeological Receipts Fund, 2001

Camp, John M.; The Archaeology of Athens, Yale University Press, 2001, pp. 119, 254-255

Hill, Ida Thallon; The Ancient City of Athens – Its Topography and Monuments, London: Methuen & Co. Ltd., 1953

Hurwit, Jeffrey M.; The Acropolis in the Age of Pericles, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004

Travlos, John, Pictorial dictionary of Ancient Athens, Books that matter, New York, 1971, p. 1-2, 127, 138, 378, 523

To do

Try to determine if the following buildings of the Old Agora were still existing in 421 BC:

  • between tha Areopagos and the rock: the shrine of Blaute; the shrine of Demeter Chloe (Green) and the shrine of Ge Kourothrophos (Nurturing Earth), both near the Monumental Access Ramp; the Kyloneion; the Bouzigion
  • to the north of the Akropolis: the shrine of Apollo, the shrine of Zeus, the Anakeion
  • near the Eleusinion: Prytaneion (headquarter of the Archon, housing the altar of Hestia with its eternal flame, not to be confused with the Prytanikon also known as Tholos), Boukoleion (headquarter of the Archon Basileus), Epilykeion (headquarter of the polemarch), the Thesmotheteion (headquarter of the 6 remaining archons)