View of Acropolis from Areopagus Hill.

Areopagus Hill

Acropolis Area

This rocky outcrop below the Acropolis has great views over the Ancient Agora. According to mythology, it was here that Ares was tried by the council of the gods for the murder of Halirrhothios, son of Poseidon. The council accepted his defence of justifiable homicide on the grounds that he was protecting his daughter, Alcippe, from unwanted advances.

The hill became the place where murder, treason and corruption trials were heard before the Council of the Areopagus. In AD 51, St Paul delivered his famous 'Areopagus Sermon' here: 'As I…looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship.' (The words are in Greek on a brass plaque on the hillside.) From this St Paul gained his first Athenian convert, Dionysos, who became the city's patron saint. And for this reason, the Pope always visits the hilltop when he comes to Athens.

If you walk down the hill to the west, look for patches of marble mosaic, remnants of houses that used to dot the hillside.

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Nearby Acropolis Area attractions

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