|The Acropolis (Akron, "highest"; polis, "city") of Athens was a sacred site for beautiful temples in honor of the city's goddess and protector, Athena. It was built on a lime stone hill about 150 m (500 ft.) high. The Athenians thought that Athena deserved this wonderful view of the city. The Acropolis not only served as a religious site, but also made a great place to hold the festivals. At these festivals, men, women and children all gathered.|
The rich men came with their horses, and the women, with jewelry; all in their best clothes. Animals were sacrificed, and there was free food for everyone.
Some politicians opposed the building of the Acropolis because the buildings of the Acropolis were financed by the Athenian empire. This meant the politicians wouldn't be able to put up the buildings at their own expense in order to gain public support. The politicians said the Acropolis made Athens look like a "deceitful woman". Most women in ancient Greece wore white makeup, and little bits of color to look as if they were rich. (Only wealthy Greek women could afford to stay indoors). The temples were made of white marble, and had some brightly painted sections of gold, blue, green, and red, just like the face of a Greek woman. To other Greeks, it meant that Athens had a great amount of money for war. The wealth of Athens also attracted visitors, and many famous Greek thinkers, astronomers, writers, and scientists.
|The Parthenon, designed by an architect called Ictinus in 447 BC, housed a 40 foot (12 m) high statue of Athena. Athena's armor was of gold, her white flesh made of ivory from Africa. This statue was designed by Pheidias who was given an amount of materials with which to work. Afraid that someone would accuse him of stealing the gold, Pheidias made the gold on the statue detachable so people could check its weight.|
Many statues were built in honor of Athena. The most sacred statue of the Acropolis was an old wooden figure of Athena in the Erechtheion. In the open of the Acropolis was the defender, Athena Promachos, made of bronze. It could be seen many miles off at sea, telling sailors that they were close to home.
The Acropolis was destroyed by the Persians, and later neglected. In 1833, the buildings were gradually restored.