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acropolis (əkrŏpˈəlĭs) [Gr.,=high point of the city], elevated, fortified section of various ancient Greek cities.

The Acropolis of Athens, a hill c.260 ft (80 m) high, with a flat oval top c.500 ft (150 m) wide and 1,150 ft (350 m) long, was a ceremonial site beginning in the Neolithic period and was walled before the 6th cent. B.C. by the Pelasgians. Devoted to religious rather than defensive purposes, the area was adorned during the time of Cimon and Pericles with some of the world's greatest architectural and sculptural monuments.

The top was reached by a winding processional path at the west end, where the impressive Propylaea (see under propylaeum) stood. From there, the Sacred Way led past a colossal bronze statue of Athena (called Athena Promachus) and the site of the old temple of Athena to the Parthenon. To the north was the Erechtheum and to the southwest the temple of Nike Apteros (Wingless Victory). On the southern slope were the Odeum of Herodes Atticus and the theater of Dionysus.

Although the Acropolis was laid waste by the Persians in 480 B.C. and was later further damaged by the Turks and others, remains of the Parthenon, Erechtheum, and Propylaea still stand. Many of its treasures are in the national museum of Greece, in Athens. Over the years, the Acropolis has suffered severely from pollution and from well-intentioned but badly executed attempts at repair. In 1975 the Greek government began a major restoration project. A number of works that were originally on the Acropolis have been moved to the New Acropolis Museum, which lies at the foot of the hill and opened in 2009.


See studies by R. J. Hopper (1971) and J. M. Hurwit (2000); Bernard Tschumi Architects, ed., The New Acropolis Museum (2009).

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Elevated stronghold or group of buildings serving as a civic symbol: those of ancient Greek cities usually featured the temple of a deity, such as at Athens.
Illustrated Dictionary of Architecture Copyright © 2012, 2002, 1998 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved


acropolis: Acropolis at Athens. A, Propylaea; B, Temple of Niké Apteros; C, Parthenon; D, Erechtheum; E, foundations of old Temple of Athena 6th cent. B.C.
1. The elevated stronghold of a Greek city, usually with the temple of the patron divinity.
2. (cap.) The Acropolis of Athens.
3. Any elevated group of buildings serving as a civic symbol.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


the citadel of an ancient Greek city
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Dedications from the Athenian Akropolis. Cambridge, Mass.
Siandien Atenu Akropolis, kaip ir kiti senoves pasaulio sakraliniai kompleksai, lankytojus traukia ne kaip gyvo tikejimo sventove, bet kaip architekturos sedevras ir galimybe prisiliesti prie Vakaru civilizacijos pamatu.
With the incursion of the fantastical and disconnected plots, Akropolis is what Martin Puchner would call an "exuberantly anti-theatrical" modernist play.
Hannah ate at: Cafe Sting, Valberget 3, 4006 Stavanger 00 47 51 89 38 78, Le Cafe Francais, Ostervaag 30, 4006 Stavanger and Greek restaurant Akropolis, Solvberggata 14, 4006 Stavanger, Norway, 00 47 51 89 14 54.
So, when Persia was dust, all cried, "To Akropolis! Run Pheidippides, one race more!
Attalos, Athens, and the Akropolis; the Pergamene 'Little Barbarians' and their Roman and Renaissance legacy.
"Neue Forschungen zur prahistorischen Akropolis von Athen," in Akten der Tagung am Institut fur k1assiseche Arechaologie der Universitat Wien, 2.-3.
Most of the known korai come from Athens, in particular from the upper slopes of the city's prominent sanctuary, the Akropolis; and they were all presented as if fresh from some glamorous 'makeover', preened and painted from top to toe.
Less specifically, but with equal force, Kendell Geers spoke about the persisting potential for danger in his Akropolis Redux (The Director's Cut), 2004, in which he displayed rolls of security fencing on steel shelves, arranging his installation in a configuration that suggested a storage room inside a military facility or a film studio.
Her newest publication is Akropolis (1999), which contains elements of both a diary and a travel journal but also frequently engages in subjective philosophizing and explications of Greek history and mythology.
Instead he hits his own temple, and Sounion, the Akropolis, and great oaks.