Every Clean Monday, no matter what the weather is like, Philopappou Hill fills with people of all ages and their kites. The beginning of Lent is an excellent reason to come to this spot with an elevation of 147 metres and enjoy a few hours of relaxation in the oasis of wild vegetation intersected by pathways, right in the heart of the city.
The monuments on the hill
The hill lies southwest of the Acropolis and was known in antiquity as the Hill of the Muses. At that time, there was a temple dedicated to the Muses at that location, and at the top of the hill, the foundation of a fortified enclosure from 294 BC, serving to safeguard the city, is visible. Even more prominent is a mausoleum at the top. The Athenians built the memorial in 115 AD in honour of exiled Syrian leader Gaius Julius Antiochus Epiphanes Philopappos, a descendant of the Seleucids who became an Athenian citizen and assumed public and religious offices.
The view and impressive landscaping
Famous architect, artist and visionary Dimitris Pikionis initially designed the landscaping of the public open space that includes two pathways starting at the intersection of Dionysiou Areopagitou and Apostolou Pavlou streets. One of these paths winds up to the Acropolis and the other leads to the opposite direction to provide a view from a distance. Stone construction, sloping roofs and visible carvings allow nature and culture to dominate while managing to visually unite buildings, rocks, stone, and greenery along a route that has etched its own history on the minds of those who traverse it.
Philopappou Hill has been open to one and all —Athenians and visitors alike— since it was first laid out (1954-57). So whenever you’d like to find a place to rest both body and mind, perhaps Philopappou Hill will be just the spot.