Areopagus Hill (or Arios Pagos) in Athens: The rocky Hill of Areopagus is located on the northwestern side of the Acropolis. The top of a steep rock is one of the most popular places where the locals gather in groups to watch the sunset and the impressive views of the urban landscape of Athens.
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Areopagus Hill bears a great historical, cultural and religious significance, as it has been used as a multifunctional area ever since antiquity.
The hill was probably named after the ancient god of war, Ares (Mars). Ancient Greeks used to believe that the place was connected to many major mythological events such as the first murder trial conducted by the gods.
It is said that the place was the court in which the god Poseidon indicted Ares for killing his son Alyrrhotihios. Orestes' trial also took place there, after he killed his mother, Clytemnestra.
As a result, the oldest supreme court of Ancient Athens was established on the hill. To this day, the Greek Supreme Court for criminal and civil law is called Areopagus.
At the same time, it was a religious center and a place of worship for the ancient residents of the city; the ruins of altars dedicated to the goddess Athena and the Erinyes, the deities of vengeance, have been discovered.
The archeological findings in the area, including the remnants of a settlement, suggest that one of the oldest graveyards of Athens was located there, with tombs dating back to the Mycenaean and Geometric periods.
Around 50 AD, the very first Christian preaching by Apostle Paul to Areopagites, the members of the court, took place on the hill. A few of the members converted to Christianity, including Dionysius, after whom the Street Dionysiou Areopagitou was named.
Nowadays, the Areopagus Hill (or Vrachakia as the people of Athens call it) is a common meeting place for couples and groups of friends, who gather to enjoy the view of the urban landscape and the Acropolis while sipping a beer or eating a snack.
Stairs that have been carved into the rock will allow you to reach the top of the hill and enjoy the magnificent view of Athens.
How to get there
There are many ways to reach the Areopagus Hill from any location in Athens.
On foot: As Areopagus Hill is located in a central area of Athens, it can be easily reached on foot from Monastiraki Square, Thissio Metro Station, or Akropoli Metro Station in approximately 10-15 minutes.
By metro: The closest metro stations are Akropoli (Red Line), Monastiraki (Green Line and Blue Line) and Thissio (Green Line). Note that in order to reach Areopagus Hill from the metro, a 15-minute walk is needed. Get a map of the metro here.
By bus/trolleybus: Since Areopagus Hill is one of the most famous areas of Athens, there are many buses that stop nearby. Check the routes and the official timetables on OASA Telematics.