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25/10/2007

The Acropolis of Ancient Sparta

Prefectural Administration of Lakonia


The Acropolis of Ancient Sparta

The Acropolis of Sparta is located on the north side of the town. On the acropolis stood the great temple of Athena Poliouchos or Chalkioikos situated on the peak of the acropolis hill, above the theatre. Of old there was a temple with an altar. The temple was decorated inside with bronze dressing with relief representations. From this dressing, Athena took the name Chalkioikos (bronze house). The sanctuary of Athena Poliouchos or Chalkioikos was the most important temple in ancient Sparta, where public meetings, processions and equestrian contests were held. It was to here that Lycourgus, Pausanias, and Ages IV fled, seeking asylum. The temple of Artemis grew in importance in the Roman period. In the 4th century AD houses started to be constructed within its forecourt. In the 7th century the large basilica of Christ the Saviour was built to its east, and the monastery of Hosios Nikonos. The acropolis was fortified only after the Herulian (AD 267) and Visigoth raids (AD 396).

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