Visitors to the Acropolis (ancient and modern) pass through the great entranceway, called the Propylaea, at the sanctuary’s western side. The Propylaea is a U-shaped complex with a central, rectangular chamber and wings to the north and south. To get to the Acropolis sanctuary, visitors walk up the steps, enter the central chamber, which is divided by a wall (now covered in scaffolding) into western and eastern rooms, and pass through each of the rooms before stepping onto the sacred precinct. Then they can continue on to the Parthenon and the Erechtheum.

The Propylaea’s northern wing (to the left of the central chamber) was probably a room used for ritual dining, with a porch fronted by a colonnade. The southern wing also had a columned porch, though the purpose of this wing was simply to allow access to the Temple of Athena Nike at the wing’s westernmost edge.