The naturally fortified hill of the Acropolis of Athens has been inhabited since the Neolithic era; in the 13th century BC, during the Mycenaean period, it was fortified and became the seat of the local ruler. In the 6th century BC, as the most important sanctuary of the city dedicated primarily to goddess Athena, Acropolis was embellished with the first monumental temples and other buildings, while worshippers dedicated numerous votive offerings, such as marble statues of Korai, horsemen, as well as an abundance of clay and metal vases and figurines. The construction of buildings and the dedication of votive offerings continued until the Roman period.
The buildings that dominate today the Sacred Rock, the monumental Propylaea, the Parthenon, the Erechtheion and the Temple of Athena Nike, were erected in the 5th century BC on the initiative of Pericles, the inspired political leader who made Athens a hegemonic power among the Greeks. The monuments erected in the context of his building programme represent a perfect adaptation of architectural types in the natural environment and symbolise the political, economic and artistic apogee of Athenian democracy. The history of the Athenian Acropolis is not limited to antiquity; it was long-lasting and its monuments underwent many transformations upon prevalence of Christianity and during the Frankish and Ottoman rule.