Acropolis Lesson for Kids: Definition & Facts

Instructor: Diane Sieverson

Diane has taught all subjects at the elementary level, was the principal of a K-8 private school and has a master's degree in Measurement and Evaluation.

The Acropolis is an important part of the Greek city of Athens that was built on a hill. Come learn about the Acropolis, what buildings were built there, and some other cool facts about this place.

What Is the Acropolis?

Imagine going on vacation in the country of Greece. You visit a city called Athens, and in the distance you notice some very old, crumbling buildings on a hill. They look really high up and you're not sure you want to go see them. But when you get there, you see all the cool details in the buildings, and you have a great view of the city below!

The Acropolis is a group of ancient temples that were built on a high, rocky hill in Athens, Greece. The word acropolis even means 'high city' in Greek. Other cities have an acropolis, too, but the one in Athens is the most well-known.

The Acropolis
Acropolis

The buildings of the Acropolis weren't put on the hill for decoration. The buildings were a fortress where people could escape to if the city was attacked, the way you might climb into your tree house so you aren't tagged during a game of hide-and-seek.

However, the Acropolis was mostly destroyed by 580 B.C. The people of Athens weren't going to rebuild it. However, a Greek official finally convinced other politicians to build it again.

Many important buildings were built as part of the Acropolis, and you can still visit what is left of them today.

The Parthenon

The Parthenon (pronounced PAR-theh-non) is the biggest building in the Acropolis and has many tall columns. It was built as a temple for a Greek goddess named Athena (pronounced uh-THEE-nuh), who was the goddess of wisdom and war. The city of Athens was named after her.

The Parthenon
Parthenon

Temples in ancient Greece were built as places to worship gods and goddesses like Athena. The Greek builders put a giant carved statue of Athena in the temple and carved sculptures right into the walls of the temple as well.

The Erechtheum

The Erechtheum (pronounced ih-REK-thee-um) is another temple in the Acropolis. It had different rooms and was made with very fine details, including statues of women holding up the roof of its large south porch.

The Erechtheum
Erechtheum

It also honored Athena, as well as other gods and heroes, and was built to hold important ceremonies, including what was known as the cleansing festival and the festival of the games.

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