Propylaea, Athens

Propylaea, Athens

The Propylaea is the monumental gateway to the Acropolis in Athens; the main entrance through which thousands of tourists pass en route to the other monuments surrounding the Acropolis. Due to original stairs having been lost, the public enters and exits via slopes built for this purpose. Whilst walking through this gateway, take time to reflect on the ability of ancient Greeks to build such architecture on such a huge scale and on such a difficult site.

An impressive structure in its own right, the Propylaea was designed by the architect, Mnesicles and constructed between 437-432 BC. It has a central building with two adjoining wings on the west (outer) side, one to the north and one to the south. The colonnades in the east and west had a row of Doric columns, while a row of Ionic columns divided the gateway into three parts. This is, therefore, the first building known to us with Doric and Ionic colonnades visible at the same time. It is also the first monumental building in the classical period to be more complex than a simple rectangle or cylinder.

The Propylaea survived intact through the Greek, Roman and Byzantine periods, but was severely damaged by an explosion of a powder magazine in 1656. It has been partly restored, since 1984.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Athens. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Propylaea on Map

Sight Name: Propylaea
Sight Location: Athens, Greece (See walking tours in Athens)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Athens, Greece

Create Your Own Walk in Athens

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Plaka Attractions Walking Tour

Plaka Attractions Walking Tour

In the shadow of the Acropolis stands Plaka, the most picturesque and oldest district of Athens, with continuous habitation from antiquity until today. The “neighborhood of the Gods”, as it is called, is like a romantic, atmospheric trip to old Athens adorned with antiquities, historic 19th-century buildings, museums and Byzantine churches.

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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.6 Km or 2.2 Miles
Walking Around the National Garden

Walking Around the National Garden

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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 Km or 2.1 Miles
Athens Introduction Walking Tour

Athens Introduction Walking Tour

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Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.2 Km or 2.6 Miles
Athens Food Walking Tour

Athens Food Walking Tour

Traditional Greek cuisine is one of the healthiest in the world, and prices in all but the flashiest establishments afford excellent value. The prevalence of vegetable and dairy dishes makes eating out a delight for non-meat eaters. Carefully selected appetizers (tzatzíki, dolmádes, kalamarákia) can constitute a full meal. Greece’s most famous slow-cooked oven dish, however, is probably...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 Km or 1.4 Miles
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Also called "the sacred rock", the Acropolis was home to temples and sanctuaries throughout recorded history, and is a symbol of the city of Athens. Its religious importance was paramount to the ancient Greeks, and the buildings on the summit still capture the essence of their classical architecture. You can see the temples from most parts of the city, which adds to the feeling that this...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.0 Km or 0.6 Miles

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