Plan of the Acropolis

Relate Architectural Terms to the Plan

100m N
  • Sanctuary of Athena Nike
  • Monument of Agrippa
  • Propylaia
  • Pinacotheca
  • Sanctuary of Artemis Brauronia
  • Propylon
  • Chalkotheke
  • Sanctuary of Zeus Polieus
  • Parthenon
  • Temple of Rome and Augustus
  • Heroon of Pandion
  • Service
  • Altar of Athena
  • Temple of Athena Polias
  • Propylon
  • Erechtheion
  • Pandroseion
  • Sacred Olive Tree
  • House of the Arrhephoroi
  • Athena Promakhos (Bronze Athena)
  • Northwest Building

Sanctuary of Athena Nike

A small Ionic temple to Nike, the winged goddess of victory, built in the last quarter of the 5th century BCE on the remains of a Mycenaean fortification beside the entrance to the Acropolis. The exterior of the temple was decorated with perhaps the richest sculptural program of the Classical Acropolis, carved with a series on the theme of victory in low relief.

Monument of Agrippa

A tall pedestal that originally supported a large bronze sculpture of a chariot and horses. Erected in the 2nd century BCE, it was probably dedicated to the Pergamene King Eumenes II, and was later rededicated by the Athenians to Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, son-in-law of the Roman Emperor Octavian Augustus.


The Propylaia is the monumental entrance to the Acropolis. Built around the time of the completion of the Parthenon, from 437–432 BCE, the Propylaia is a complex and innovative building with 5 doors of different sizes, designed by the architect Mnesikles.


A picture gallery.

Sanctuary of Artemis Brauronia

A shrine to the ancient cult of Artemis Brauronia that served as an urban satellite of the principal Attic sanctuary of Artemis at Brauron. It stood on the remains of a Mycenaean fortification wall and was enlarged under the Periclean building program and possibly designed by Mnesikles. The sanctuary contained a statue of Artemis by the sculpture Praxiteles. It was a place for the performance of a rite in which Athenian girls pretended they were she-bears and danced around the goddess of the wild.


A gateway to a sacred enclosure.


The Chalkotheke was a utilitarian building, mainly a warehouse for military materials, including bronze and iron objects, armor and weapons, chariot wheels and axels, and catapults and naval equipment. Additionally, it stored a variety of miscellaneous bronze and iron objects. It was a wide, long room supported by interior columns with a north portico that may have displayed the building’s most impressive offerings.

Sanctuary of Zeus Polieus

East of the Altar of Athena, the shrine to Zeus Polieus (lord of the sky and protector of Athens), the sanctuary was involved in the annual oxen sacrifice (bouphonia) during the festival of Zeus Polieus. Sparse archaeological evidence remains, leaving the details of the structure and its use open to interpretation.


The Parthenon is a temple sacred to Athena on the Acropolis in Athens. Built during the Periclean building program between 447-432 BCE, it is among the masterpieces of Greek architecture. The chief architect of the temple was Iktinos, who was assisted by Kallikrates, and perhaps by others. Pheidias, the general overseer of the Periclean building program, supervised the creation of the colossal gold and ivory statue of Athena, and probably designed the architectural sculptures.
The temple is peripteral, with 8 Doric columns on each end and 17 on the flanks (46 in all); it stands upon a stylobate three steps high. The body of the building is comprised of a cella or naos, and behind it an inner chamber called the Parthenon, from which the building gets its name. At the front and the rear, within the outer colonnade, were the two porticoes, the pronaos and the opisthodomos, with six columns each.

Temple of Rome and Augustus

This small, round edifice is a Roman temple built in the first century BCE, and the last significant ancient construction on the Acropolis. The temple was dedicated to the goddess Rome and the Roman Emperor Octavian Augustus by the city of Athens.

Heroon of Pandion

The heroon, or hero shrine, dedicated to Pandion. The building consisted of two parts: a large, open-air sanctuary entered via a columnar porch with a statue of Pandion inside, and behind it, a service area (see Service.)


The rear portion of Building IV. A court with its own doorway used as a service area (ergasterion), perhaps a workplace for masons and sculptors employed in the Periclean building program.

Altar of Athena

An altar to Athena Polias (goddess of wisdom and war, and guardian of Athens) with archaic origins that was remodeled during the Periclean building program. During the Panathanaic Procession, a mass slaughter of cattle would take place here.

Temple of Athena Polias (Archaios Neos)

A 6th century limestone temple built on the site of still earlier shrines that contained a venerable olivewood image of Athena Polias (the most sacred image of the goddess.) This was the principal temple of the Archaic Acropolis. It was destroyed during the sack of the Persians.


A gateway to a sacred enclosure.


The Erechteion was a multipurpose temple with a variety of sacred places and cults, including sanctuaries to Poseidon, Erechtheus, and Athena Polias. Built on the site of an earlier temple to Athena Polias, the Erechtheion was completed c. 405 BCE, and its design is possibly attributed to the architect Mnesikles. It remains the finest extant example of the Greek Ionic order.


A quadrilateral enclosure part of the Erechtheion temple complex; a shrine to Pandrosus, the obedient daughter of Kekrops.

Sacred Olive Tree

The sacred olive tree of the goddess Athena, presented as a gift to the Athenians in the founding myth of the city. Ancient sources describe the presence of the sacred tree near the Erechtheion, though the current tree was planted in modern times by Sophia of Prussia, granddaughter of Queen Victoria.

House of the Arrhephoroi

Each year, the chief religious official of Athens (the Royal Archon, or Archon Basileus) selected two 7-11 year old girls to serve as the Arrhephoroi. They dressed in white robes and lived atop the Acropolis for some unspecified length of time and assisted with sanctuaries and festivals. Their service culminated in the strange nocturnal rite called Arrhephoria, during which the priestess of Athean Polias gave them covered baskets containing secret objects that they carried down an underground path, deposited, and returned with other mysterious objects to take back up to the Acropolis.

Athena Promakhos (Bronze Athena)

A colossal bronze statue of Athena made by Pheidias, it was a monument to Athenian victories in war. It may have been an early commission of the Periclean democracy.

Northwest Building

The exact date, and whether this building was constructed during the Periclean building period, is disputed. It was an open-air court that may have functioned as a service court or storage area.