Athens has had numerous fortification walls around the city since ancient times. When the Second Persian War ended in 479 BC, it resulted in the destruction of most buildings, statues, and walls in and around the city. After the departure of the Persians the citizens began planning the rebuild of the city. Athenian statesman Themistocles feared a return of the Persians and urged the citizens to prioritize building the fortification walls. They agreed and did so using scavenged material, primarily spoila from the buildings and monuments destroyed by the Persians mixed together with mudbrick, to create the Themistoclean Wall.
A portion of the Themistoclean Wall passed through the pine-clad slopes of Filopappou Hill, an area just south of the Acropolis. That area thrived until the 12th century AD, when a steady decline in the population began. The area was pretty much abandoned by the beginning of the 13th century and was not heavily repopulated until the post-Ottoman era when working class residents moved in. During this time, much of the wall was used during the building process and most of the rest of it disappeared over the next several decades.
The area experienced a building boom in the 1960s and 1970s and several project excavations revealed ancient ruins and artifacts. One of these projects was the Divani Palace Acropolis hotel. While excavations were taking place a large portion of the Themistoclean Wall was discovered. Because Greece has strict laws protecting archaeological sites and artifacts, the hotel’s renovation plans were tweaked to both protect the ancient wall and allow the public to admire it. As part of the new plans, it was decided to display the wall on the building’s lower level, immediately at the bottom of the main staircase in the lobby.