Photo by AP/Petros Giannakporis.

The setting sun illuminates Athens’s Acropolis (literally, High City) in the photo taken from the southwest. Prior to its destruction by the Persians in 490 B.C.E. and again in 480–479 B.C.E., the Acropolis was a sacred precinct with a temple to Athens’s tutelary goddess, Athena. The rebuilding of the Acropolis in the second half of the fifth century B.C.E. was the inspiration of the leader Pericles (c. 495–429 B.C.E.), who appointed the sculptor Phidias to supervise the entire project.

The rebuilt Acropolis consisted of four principal structures. The Parthenon appears high up on the right (southern) side of the Acropolis; to the left of the Parthenon, with the peak of Lykavittos Hill popping up between them, is the Erechtheum; and at the far left is the Propylaea with the Temple of Athena Nike. (In the foreground, below the Acropolis, are the ruins of the Odeon [Theater] of Herodes Atticus, built in the second century B.C.E.)