The ancient Acropolis | Greece

The Acropolis of Athens is a rocky hill of 156 meters above sea level and about 70 meters above the level of the city of Athens. The top has a trapezoid shape, with a length of 300 meters and a maximum width of 150 meters. This hill is unreachable from all sides except the west, where lies the fortified entrance and decorated with the famous Propylaea. This monumental entrance to the Acropolis was built in 436 BC after the completion of the Parthenon, based on designs by the architect Mnisiklis.

Acropolis, Athens

Acropolis, Athens

Acropolis by night

Acropolis by night

The main building of the Propylaea is something unique in ancient Greek architecture. Six Doric columns adorn the front. The columns taper as they proceed from the bottom to the top. Above it rests a gable undecorated. The main space is divided into three aisles by two rows of Ionic columns, three on each side. The Propylaea were never completed. In 431 began the Peloponnesian War and the work stopped.

The Parthenon is one of the most famous monuments in the world. It is the largest and most solemn architecture of the Acropolis and collects the admiration of the world for centuries. Work on the construction of this full marble temple of Athena began in 447 BC under the direction of architects Iktinos and Kallikratis. The temple was completed in 438 and the next years Panathinaia were dedicated to the patron goddess. Nevertheless, the work continued until 432.

Acropolis, Athens

Acropolis, Athens

The main temple inside was divided into three parts. The middle of the three parts was wider and in it was placed on a pedestal the famous gold and ivory statue of Athena Parthenos, which Phidias had completed and placed in 438 BC in position. The internal 92 metopes were carved and depicted several mythological topics such as giants, amazons, centaurs and episodes from the fall of Troy.

According to mythology, the Erechtheion was the brawl between Athena and Poseidon for the dominion of the city. The Athenians wanted to reconcile the two rival gods dedicated a shrine under the same roof. Thus was built the most peculiar of the buildings of the Acropolis view architectural plan. At this point, according to mythology, was the residence of King Erechtheus who was later identified with Poseidon. That’s why the church got its name from the mythological king of Athens. The temple was built between 425 and 406 BC designed by architect Callimachus and is one of the masterpieces of the Ionic order.

The Erechtheum, Acropolis, Athens, Greece

The Erechtheum, Acropolis, Athens, Greece

Caryatids, Erectheion, Acropolis, Athens, Greece

Caryatids, Erectheion, Acropolis, Athens, Greece

The inside of the church was divided into two parts. The eastern part was toward the front of Athena and the other of Neptune. The most famous part of the Erechtheion is the protection of the Maidens, the famous Caryatids is a covered balcony, whose roof rests not in columns, but in six female statues of exquisite art.

More about Greece here: Feel like royals | Luxury hotels, What to see in Athens, Greece | The Cradle of Western culture.

By Nicole P.

Acropolis photos: peteshep, ta92310, David Abrantes, Daniel Rabetti, allykaym.

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