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The Beule Gate

The Beule Gate (7)

The current entrance to the Acropolis spent centuries buried beneath the dust, forgotten, waiting to be discovered and properly recognized. The same archaeologist who discovered it in 1852, the Frenchman Ernest Beulé, gave it the name by which it is still known today.

Built in 267 AD, almost eight centuries after the great buildings of the Acropolis, it was erected for defence purposes. During this time, under Roman rule, and following the invasion of the Germanic tribe of the Heruli, the need arose to strengthen the fortifications and protect the sacred area. In fact, this gate was opened up in the west wall of the Propylaea.

Initially, it seems that Beule gate was flanked by two rectangular towers measuring nine metres in height, of which there are no remains today.

The materials used for this construction, mainly marble, were recycled from previous buildings, specifically the 4th century BC Choragic construction of Nikias in Athens.

Almost miraculously, the original inscription is preserved on the architrave of the gate. This identifies Flavio Septimus Marcellinus as a donor of the monument.

On crossing the Beule gate, the grand stairway accessing the Acropolis unfolds before you, dating back to the era of the Roman Emperor Claudius. The gate and the steps are only a taste of what you will find next, so be patient and enjoy the simplicity of the monument discovered by Beule because from now on the road is long in your visit to the Acropolis and the constructions are immense.

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