The Beule Gate and Propylea (Athens)

The Beule Gate and Propylea Athens


Location: Athens


Description of The Beule Gate and Propylea

The Beule Gate and Propylea AthensThe Beule Gate is the religious entrance to the center of Acropolis. The ceremonial path to the Acropolis started with passing of The Beule Gate. It was constructed in 267 AD by the Romans who needed to improve military fortifications in their largest city on the Balkan Peninsula after Germanic barbarian tribe of Heruli attacked borders of the empire and swept through the region. Several inscriptions are still visible on this entrance. This included actual dedication to the gods as well as a Latin inscription that mentions rich Roman donor Flavius Septimius Marcellinus that paid for the construction. In 1686 Ottoman Turks destroyed the temple of Athena Nike and used its marble to construct an artillery bastion over the gate to defend the high ground of the city. Eventually the gate was forgotten and buried by centuries of trash. Only 1852 it was re- discovered by a French archaeologist Ernest Beule, who also gave this ancient gate his name.


Beule Gate was the starting point for religious ceremonies in the ancient times. They followed the path to Propylaia or Propylea (pictured on the right) that was constructed in 437- 432 BC. Architect Mnesikles created a splendid entrance to the Acropolis. Unfortunately his work was cut short by the Peloponnesian War between Athens and their allies against Sparta. After the fall of the Roman Empire this structures served as a residence of the archbishop, Frankish palace, Turkish Fortress and an armory. Unfortunately it was this fact that destroyed large part of the structure. Some careless Turkish soldier accidentally detonated gunpowder stores thus blowing up large portion of the original structure.