Ancient Athens 3D

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   On the Acropolis, during this period only the Parthenon, the Propylaea and the Erechteum still exist from the ancient structures. The hill is refortified with the addition of towers. The monuments are converted either to churches or to fortresses. The hill changes image depending on who owns the city (Byzantines, Franks, Catalans, Venetians). Herein, the monuments are depicted as they were during the short Venetian occupation (1395-1403).

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General view of the Medieval Acropolis. The Propylaea are now a fortified palace, the Parthenon a Christian church with a bell tower and the Erechtheum, headquarters of the castle. On the top left in the first picture and in the second one, with the Venetian flag stands the Belvedere tower, where the Greek flag still stands today.


Panorama of Medieval Acropolis. Click and drag to navigate.

   The Parthenon

   The Parthenon had suffered fire damages possibly from the Heruli invasion in 267 A.D. It was in this fire that the roof collapsed and the inner double colonnade was destroyed. In the repairs that followed, it was economically impossible to restore the roof as it was. Therefore, a new one was constructed that covered only the cella leaving the outer colonnade uncovered. With the order to convert the ancient temples to christian churches, the Parthenon was dedicated (possibly in the 6th century) to the Holy Wisdom and later to Mary the Mother of God in Athens (Panagia i Athiniotissa). On the east facade, the entrance was blocked in order to create an arch for the Sanctuary. The interior was richly decorated with frescoes and mosaics, the most famous of which, the one of Mary on the cupola of the Sanctuary. In the first years of the Latin Domination (13th c.), a tower (probably a bell tower) is built in the south part of the opisthonaos and the temple becomes a catholic church of Notre Dame.

The Parthenon as a church from the east.

Saint Mary of Athens or Notre Dame (Parthenon) with the bell tower from the west.

A view of the new roof of the Parthenon. On the top left, the bell tower, and down right the arc with the cupola in the pronaos.

The new east face of the Parthenon as a church with the arc. To build it, part of the entablature, the frieze and the pediment, was destroyed.


   The Propylaia met many different phases of conversion to a fortress. In here, the building is presented in its later form. At a great extent, these fortifications and the towers were still visible until 1835 when were torn down in "favour" of the neoclassical movement that was dominating Europe at this time.

The Propylaea from the northwest. The central staircase was modified to a helical road between the walls. The central entrance of the building is sealed and the entrance is for security reasons being done from the back.

The Propylaea from the southwest. The space between the columns is closed with stones, while on the second floor are the apartments of the governor.

View from the southeast. The ancient building of Mnesicles can be slightly discerned.

View from the northeast. On the bottom right is the main gate of the building. In order to enter Acropolis one had  to pass from the helical road for security reasons and make the circle of the building as the ancient entrance was sealed.


The interior of the court in the Propylaea (behind "Pinakotheke"). In the middle is the catholic chapel of the palace.

The central building of the Propylaea from the west, alongside with the Frankish Tower.

The, now sealed, ancient entrance to the Acropolis. On the left, the "Pinakotheke".


   The Erechteum had multiple conversions. It begun as a Christian basilica church. After the roof collapsed, new buildings were constructed in the interior, while the rest of the area served as a court.

The Erechteum after the medieval add-ons.

The Erechteum from the west. The north entrance is also closed with walls.

On the north side a new building was added as an extension to the north entrance.

The interior of the Erechteum as a court with buildings.

For other monuments of Medieval Athens click below:




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