Top Ten Archaeological Ruins

Europe & Africa: The Acropolis, Greece

The Acropolis, crowned by the Parthenon, stands sentinel over Athens and is visible from almost everywhere in the city. After the destruction wrought by the Persian War, Pericles rebuilt the ancient city, transforming it into a showcase of colossal buildings, gigantic statues, and marble walkways. It is considered to be the very best of classical Greece. Today, the top of the Acropolis is more open space than it is monument. In fact, of the many statues and temples that used to cover it, only four structures remain: the Erechtheion, known for its Caryatids, the six maidens who take the place of columns; the Propylaia, the entrance to the Acropolis; the Temple of Athena Nike; and the most splendid of them all—the magnificent Parthenon. The huge Parthenon served as the treasury and housed the statue of the patron goddess Athena. Don't be deceived by its design however. Lines may look perfectly straight and level but the brilliant architects purposely curved columns, roofs, and floors inward or outward to work against the warping effects of perspective and distance.



Sign up to Away's Travel Insider

Preview newsletter »