Propylaia : Michelin's recommendations
The Propylaea forming a monumental entrance of the Acropolis were built by the architect Mnesicles, who used the blue marble of Eleusis and white marble of the Pentelikos. They include a central body flanked by two asymmetrical wings at right-angles. From the 12 to the 15C, they were converted into a palace for the bishops and dukes of Athens: the Frankish Tower overlooked the right wing. From 1836 the Propylaea were able to be cleared of their military straitjacket; the Frankish Tower was demolished in 1878. A portico with a triangular pediment, of which 6 fluted Doric columns without capitals remain, preceded the main body. Beyond this opens the vestibule comprising a middle passage framed by 6 Ionic columns and 2 lateral naves; part of the coffered ceiling has been rebuilt. The wall forming the end of the vestibule is partly preserved: it contained 5 wooden doors one of which led to the Sacred Way. The left wing or Pinakotekos was divided into a vestibule and exhibition room for paintings; the right wing had only one room open towards the temple of Athena Nike. Emerging from the Propylaea, you will find the majestic bulk of the Parthenon and the slender silhouette of the Erechteion separated by a space scattered with marble blocks, remains of disappeared monuments or ex-votos: opposite the Propylaea stood the statue of Athena Promachos, an impressive bronze warrior designed by Phidias to commemorate the Athenian victories over the Persians.
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