Many consider the Parthenon, the Temple of the Goddess Athena on Athens' Acropolis, to be the pinnacle of ancient Greek architecture. It was here that the Erechtheion, one of only three remaining Classical Athenian temples, was built to replace a previous structure destroyed by the Persians. The temple is especially notable for its large number of metopes, or decorative stone slabs.
The Propylaea, the monumental entrance gates to the city of Athens, were built to accommodate an influx of visitors following the Persian Wars. They include four Ionic columns supporting a pediment where an image of Athena stands watch over the city she helped to protect. The Laconic and Doric orders are used extensively in the construction of the gates, which also feature stucco work and sculpture.
The best example of Doric order architecture is the Parthenon, built between 447 and 432 B.C. It features beautiful sculptured metopes and ornamental triglyphs (three horizontal grooves carved into the surface of a column) and has been described as "the masterpiece of human creativity."
The Erechtheion, also known as the Temple of Athena Nike, was built about five years after the Propylaea.
Parthenon The Parthenon is a temple that stands atop the Acropolis hill in Athens. It was dedicated to the Greek goddess Athena Parthenos and constructed in the mid-5th century BC ("Athena the Virgin"). The word "parthenon" means "virgin's tower" in Greek.
The Parthenon is regarded as one of the most important monuments of Ancient Greece. Its construction was initiated by King Pericles in 447 BC and it was completed around 432 BC. The scale of the building is such that it could be used for religious purposes while still being large enough to house many citizens of Athens (about 5,000).
It is built of marble from the local quarry at Carystus on Euboea Island (in present-day Greece), although other sources claim that Pentelicon in southern Greece is also mentioned as the source of this marble. The actual number of blocks of marble used in the building is unknown but estimates range from 16 to 20 million. The total weight of marble required is not known with certainty but it has been estimated at between 40 and 50 thousand tons.
The design of the building shows clear influences from both Egyptian and Phoenician designs. But its main inspiration seems to have come from the architectural developments that took place in Ionia during the early years of Classical Greece.
The Parthenon is a magnificent marble temple erected during the height of the Greek Empire between 447 and 432 B.C. The Parthenon, dedicated to the Greek goddess Athena, stands high atop the Acropolis of Athens, a complex of temples. The building is in two stories with a total length of 44 meters (144 feet) and a width of 18 meters (60 feet). It is crowned with an open-air theater where religious festivals were held.
The inspiration for the construction of the Parthenon may have come from the Erechtheion, a similar structure now located in Athens' Agora. Also worth mentioning is the Propylaia, which served as the entrance to the Acropolis until the construction of the Parthenon. Finally, the Erectheion, a small temple that stood on the site where today's Parliament building is located, should be mentioned. This ancient monument was probably built around 490 B.C. by the architect Ictinus. The Erectheion was burned down in 480 B.C. during the invasion of Greece by Xerxes, king of Persia.
The building of the Parthenon was completed in four years at a cost of about $20 million in those days. It was originally painted red, white and blue but these colors were later changed to black, white and gold.
Acropolis Temples and political structures were frequently constructed on top of a hill, or acropolis. The famed Parthenon of Athens is a surviving example of a building key to an ancient acropolis. The Parthenon was a temple erected to worship Athena, the goddess of wisdom. It was built by Phidias and finished in 447 BC. Today, it remains one of the most important monuments in ancient Greece.
Other famous ancient Greek temples include those at Ephesus, Olympia, and Delphi.
Government buildings and temples were often constructed alongside major roads into smaller townships, as well as near large estates. For example, the Temple of Zeus at Olympia was built next to the stadium where athletic competitions were held.
In addition to cities, other notable locations include the island of Aegina, home to a large fortified palace; the mainland site of Argos, known for its giant bronze statue of a warrior; and the island of Crete, which features many ruins from different periods in history.
Ancient Greece was defined by its city-states, or polis. There were several factors that made these city-states unique, including their democratic governments and free markets.
These countries adopted common laws and used similar methods of administration, so they can be considered part of a single culture.
The Parthenon, one of the world's most famous structures, may be seen on the Athenian Acropolis. This temple was constructed in honor of the goddess Athena. It was ornately ornamented with statues that represented the finest achievements of Greek painters. The building served as both a religious site exclusive to Athena and as an open-air theater where plays were performed for the public.
The sanctuary of Athena Parthenos was built between 447 and 432 B.C. by the architects Iktinos and Kallikrates. The structure was burned down by the Persians in 480 B.C., but it was rebuilt within a few years. In 399 B.C., after many modifications, it was completely destroyed by the Spartan army under Epaminondas. The present-day Acropolis Museum was built in its place between 1827 and 1834 according to the design of British architect John Woodruff Simpson.
The word "acropolis" comes from the ancient Greek language and means "highest rock". Today, the term is used to describe the highest part of a city wall or hilltop fortress. In ancient Athens, the acropolis was a sacred site upon which stood temples dedicated to various gods. In addition, it was here that Athena Parthenos, the Virgin Mary, and Jesus Christ were said to have been born.
The location of the Acropolis has been important throughout Greek history.
The massive figure of Athena in the temple's main cella was the focus of the Parthenon's sculptural scheme. The goddess was represented with full armor, shield, and spear. She stood about 3 feet high and was made of white marble from Elgin (in northern Greece). The armament and the robe that she wore were of gold. Behind her was a palm tree, and in front was a lion skin.
The idea to represent Athena as a statue came from the fact that the site where she was supposed to be standing was empty of any kind of sculpture. However, the architect Bauriedi wanted to show that Athena had appeared there in a previous life when Athens was only a small town. So he decided to make her look like a living person rather than a statue.
Athena was the goddess of wisdom and war. Her appearance on the Acropolis was meant to show that Athens would become one of the most important cities in Greece. After her installation, people started visiting the site out of curiosity. In 449 BC, after only eight years, the temple was destroyed by the Persians during their invasion of Greece. But it has been suggested that the destruction of the temple may have been planned by the Athenians so they could collect insurance money!