The Propylaea serves as a majestic gateway to the Acropolis. It was designed by Mnesikles, replacing an earlier entrance, and was built mainly of Pentelic marble. Built from 437-432 BC, its construction was abandoned during the Peloponnesian War and never completed. Pericles built the Propylaea with funds mainly from the temple treasuries of Athena and Hephaistos.

The building remained intact into the 13th century. A tower was added to it and it was later used as a powder magazine by the Turks. A lightning strike in the 17th century caused a damaging explosion. Venetian bombardment in 1687 continued the destruction. Several columns were later used by Turkish forces to make lime. In the 19th century, the French and Turkish additions began to be removed, and by the end of the World War II the Propylaea had been restored.

Approaching the Propylaea