Western Acropolis Hills

Western Acropolis Hills

The area is delimited by the following roads: Ap. Pavlou, D. Aeginitou, Otryneon, Ag. Marinas, Akamandos, Aktaeou, Arakynthou, Panaitoliou, Mousson, Drakou, Epiphanous, Garibaldi, Roberto Galli and back to Ap. Pavlou. For Athens, the Western Acropolis Hills constitute a busy green area and a meeting place. The protection and promotion of the archaeological site is an absolute priority, along with the safety of visitors and the cleanliness of the area, despite the increased turnout that results from the around-the-clock, free access to the site.

The Western Acropolis Hills include important antiquities, encompassing the complex of the Assembly of the People (Pnyx), the Compartment Wall (Diateichisma), the residential remnants of the ancient municipalities of Melite and Koile, the ancient Koile road, the monument of Philopappos, the Heroon of Mousaios (or Musaeus), the remains of the shrine of the Nymphs, the cave sanctuaries of Pan and Zeus, the “Prisons of Socrates” and Kimon’s Tomb, cemeteries of the Geometric, Hellenistic and Roman periods, Byzantine – post-Byzantine churches (Agios Demetrios Loumbardiaris, Agia Marina, Agios Konstantinos), the unique works of Dimitris Pikionis (stone paved paths, resting area, terraces, greenery) that are characterised as newer monuments-, and the National Observatory.

Philopappos Hill is located southwest of the Acropolis and at its top is the Philopappos Monument erected in honour of the Roman consul Philopappos (2nd century A.D.). In 1957, during an archaeological research with simultaneous excavation of the site by the architect archaeologist Ioannis Travlos, it was found that this monument had a 35 m2 burial chamber, nine meters high. Access to this chamber was via a staircase from the southwest side of the monument. Opposite the entrance, there was the sarcophagus of Philoppapos. This monument was therefore a mausoleum and not just an ordinary monument as it is generally thought to be. On the south side of the hill there is also the theatre of ‘Dora Stratou’.


The three important hills of ancient Athens, the Hill of the Muses, known today as Philopappos Hill, the Hill of the Pnyx and the Hill of the Nymphs, are located to the west of the Athens Acropolis. The site is mainly known thanks to the Hill of the Pnyx, dominated by the monumental complex where the Assembly of the Athenians convened from the end of the 6th century B.C. to the 4th century B.C., where great politicians, orators (Demosthenes, Pericles, Aeschines) and free citizens spoke, making decisions concerning major historical events.

The three hills area has a multi-layered character, as it is a combination of an archaeological site, a historical site, a wellness area, and a metropolitan park, with great ancient monuments; at the same time its largest area is green, making it ideal for walking and recreation purposes.

The ancient municipality of Koile and the southwestern part of the ancient municipality of Melite, which prospered during the classical era, were located in the area of the Western Hills.

There are traces of Early Helladic and Mycenaean habitation found on the eastern side of the Hill of the Muses. During the Geometric Period, a cemetery occupied the area.

The area of the Hills was first systematically inhabited at the end of the 6th century B.C., when the Assembly of the People started convening in the Pnyx. After the Persian Wars, the area of the Hills was included in the Themistoclean Wall (early 5th century B.C.) and was one of the most densely populated areas of ancient Athens.

The Koile road, known to us by Herodotus, was an important and busy road of the classical era, with buzzing commercial traffic; it run through two gates of the Themistoclean Wall, connecting the city with Faliro and Piraeus. Prominent figures of public life, such as Themistocles, Miltiades, Kimon and others resided in the quarter of Melite.

The construction of the Compartment Wall (Diateichisma) on the heights of the hills (late 4th century B.C.) changed the configuration and size of the city and led to the gradual abandonment of the western quarters and their transformation into an extensive cemetery during the late Hellenistic and Roman times. During the Early Christian era and until the Turkish occupation, the area of the hills remained uninhabited, while the area southeast of the monument of Philopappos was used as a Christian cemetery within a precint (enclosed area).

In recent years the site has undergone significant changes and interventions, which altered the character and interrupted the continuity of the hills both as a natural – historical landscape and an archaeological site (extensive quarrying, buildings were constructed at important parts of the archaeological site, construction of the Bastia Theatre, opening of Apo. Pavlou Street et al.)

In 1910, the identification of the site with the Pnyx was confirmed by the Athens Archaeological Society, which carried out excavations there. Between 1930 and 1937 large-scale excavations took place at various times.

In the 1950s, the formations of Pikionis in the Hills created walking areas with the construction of stone-paved paths, which mainly reproduce ancient routes, as well as scenic viewpoints (observation decks) and resting areas which are now perceived as the newest monuments of the area.


Olive Trees, Golden Olive Trees, Wild Olive Trees, Cypresses, Locust Trees, Stone Pines, Judas Trees, Eucalyptus Trees, Pine Trees


Australian Laurel (Mock Orange), Fox Tail Agave, Viburnum, Grecian Laurel (Bay Laurel), Arbutus Unedo (Strawberry Tree), Orange Cotoneaster, Japanese Privet (Wax-leaf Privet), Alfalfa, Nerium Oleander, Spanish broom (Weaver's Broom)


Crocuses, Irises


Hawks, Owls