Multimedia Map Description

How to get

The Pnyx hill is located about 500 metres westwards of the Acropolis. Green parks surround this rocky hill, which is a quite important historical monument. 

The Pnyx in Athens was used by city residents as a place of meetings where they were having discussions on political matters and items related to their city. Here the democracy was born. It was on this hill that all the city residents were proclaimed to have equal rights, which meant that they could vote and make decisions. The residents of Athens did not want to entrust such significant task to a single person, the ruler. This procedure has developed for a long period of time and eventually brought the world to the current forms of democracy.


According to the myths, the area is associated with the epic of Theseus’ struggle with the Amazons after he kidnapped their queen, Hippolyta. Since the ancient times Pnyx was an important religious place. And later the Athenian assembly, the ecclesia, was gathering on the hill.

The Pnyx is generally believed to have been founded about 2500 years ago. It has overcome 3 architectural periods. Originally, this place was a flatland with a retaining northern wall. Then a semicircular wall was erected. The way up the two stairs was leading to a special stone platform, from where the speakers could deliver their speeches to the residents of the city. At that time, there were 500 wooden seats for the Council members. In the 1st century BC, the Pnyx began to lose its popularity, as Athens was developing, and it was uncomfortable for the people to visit the hill. Later, the Athenian meetings were taking place in the Dionysus theatre.

The Pnyx can accommodate up to 20 000 people, although just 6 000 residents of Athens were enough for discussing pressing issues, according to the city's rules. Every 9 days the Assembly met to make necessary decisions.

In 1765, this place was defined as the site of the Athenian Assembly. George Hamilton-Gordon, the earl of Aberdeen, was greatly interested in classical history. So, he explored the hill in 1803 and managed to find an oratorical podium there and a number of memorial plaques dedicated to Zeus Hypsistos. There were several other investigations but only in 1910, the Greek archaeological society began to excavate the site. In the 30s of the 20 century, H. A. Thompson carried out another excavations, which helped to recreate a certain picture of various stages in the architecture and history of the hill. Remains of ancient structures were discovered: an altar and two big shelters for the case of bad weather.

The attractions inside

  • The oratorical podium or Ecclesia podium. Visitors can see the territory where city meetings were held, starting from the 4th century BC.
  • Two shelters from bad weather. They border the southern side of the speaker's podium and belong to the 3rd architectural period of the Pnyx (330-326 BC).
  • The remains of the Themistocle wall, erected in the 4th century BC and of the retaining Pnyx wall. 
  • The Zeus Hypsistos sanctuary. It became known in 1803 from the inscriptions found during excavations carried out by Lord Aberdeen. The floor of the old sanctuary, steps and a series of niches carved into the rock have been preserved. The large rectangular niche in which the cult statue of the God was installed probably dates back to the Roman period.

It is easy to get to the Pnyx hill from anywhere in Athens. You will find it in a big park just below the National Observatory, about a kilometre westwards of the Acropolis.

  • Walk on foot. It will take you about 20 minutes to reach it on foot from the “Acropolis” metro station.
  • Take the metro to the “Acropolis” or “Syngrou Fix” stations. Then take a walk — it will take you about 20 minutes.
  • Travel by trolleybus or by bus No.230 to the “Afeteria” stop. The walk on foot about 8 minutes to get to the hill.
  • Order a private transfer or a taxi.


  1. Explore the remains of Ecclesia, where the Athenian democratic Assembly met, and enjoy the beautiful view of the Acropolis and of Athens.
  2. Nearby the Philopappos hill is located with the famous same-name monument, which is well preserved. The admission is free.
  3. The park is open to visitors 24 hours a day.
  4. We advise you to wear sports shoes.