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If you come up to the Acropolis from the direction I did one of the first buildings you will see is the Erectheum -- with its "people pillars" or Caryatides. Due to pollution damage the originals are now in the Acropolis Museum.
It was built 421-406 BCE to house sacred objects and was the last building to be placed on the Acropolis in classical times. The gods Athena and Poseidon are reputed to have had their power struggle over Athens on this spot. I think we know Athena won!
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The Erechtheion was built in 420-406 B.C. on that part of the Acropolis held to be the most sacred; the place where the goddess Athena had caused her most sacred emblem, the olive tree, to sprout. The Caryatidis - the figures of maiden that you supporting the roof of the south porch of temple are copies. Four of the original six Kores can be seen in the Acropolis Museum, the fifth one is at present being restored in the workshop of the Museum and the sixth can be seen in the Britsich Museum in London.
This is my favourite building in Acropolis.
I think Karyatidis are some of the best statues in the world!
It was build during the Peloponnesian War (420 BC) by Philocles. The main temple was divided into two sections, dedicated to the worship of the two principal gods of Attica, Athena and Poseidon ? Erechteus, from whom it got its name. Six female statues, the famous Karyatids, with canisters on their heads as column capitals, support the roof of the temple. Today five copies stand in their place. The originals are in the Acropolis Museum.
Acropolis - Erechtheion
The Erechtheion sits on the north side of the Acropolis. It is known primarily for the Port of the Caryatids, a series of statues on the south side of the structure facing the Parthenon. The four statues in place today are replicas, but the originals can be seen in the Acropolis Museum on the southeast corner of the Acropolis.
Constructed in order to replace the ancient temple of Athena, the Erechtheion was started during the Peace of Nikias in 421 B.C., but work on it seems to have been interrupted after the resumption of hostilities between Athens and Sparta. It was finally completed in 406 B.C. The Erechtheion owes its name to Erechtheus who was a local hero and legendary king of Athens.
Acropolis - Erechteion - as it used to be
With its Attic, almost feminine elegance, the Erechteion makes a vivid contrast to the imposing masculine dignity of the Doric Parthenon.
The original form of this distinctive rectangular building is unknown since many parts were destroyed when it was converted to a Christian church in the 7th century AD. However, it is certain that the eastern porch of the building, with six slender Ionic pillars, each 6,8 metres tall, gave access to the Temple of Athena Polia. The last pillar on the right is now in the British Museum.
In the main hall, the calla, of the temple there was a very ancient statue, made of olive wood, of the goddess Athena. This was the statue said not to be of human origin but to have been sent from heaven to honour the city of Cecrops. This also was the statue clothed in the Panathenaic celebrations with the peplos garment embroidered by the Arrhephores virgins.
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This has captured my eys !
There is something about it, something else... and i was quite facsinated looking at it.
The Erecthion Actually built on the most sacred site of the Acropolis ! where Poseidon and Athena had their contest over who would be the Patron of the city.
Completed in 406 BC, the Erechtheion gets its name from a former king of Athens, Erechtheus.
It, along with the Parthenon, are the two dominating monuments on the Acropolis.
What seperates the Erechtheion from the Parthenon, besides the size and fame, are the Caryatids, which grace the southern face of the the temple.
The Erechtheion -columns close-up
The The Erechtheion uses 3 Ionic columns of different dimensions and proportions.
This is a description of the ionic columns:
Ionic shafts were taller than Doric ones. This makes the columns look slender. They also had flutes, which are lines carved into them from top to bottom. The shafts also had a special characteristic: entasis, which is a little bulge in the columns make the columns look straight, even at a distance [because since you would see the building from eye level, the shafts would appear to get narrower as they rise, so this bulge makes up for that - so it looks straight to your eye but it really isn't !] . The frieze is plain. The bases were large and looked like a set of stacked rings. Ionic capitals consist of a scrolls above the shaft. The Ionic style is a little more decorative than the Doric.
To see the three types of columns in greek architecture, follow this link: Greek architecture course
The Erechtheion -north side
It is built over the spot where mythology says Athena and Poseidon had a legendary contest to win the hearts of Athenians. Poseidon gave them a spring of fresh water on top of the Acropolis, and Athena gave them the olive tree, which became a staple food crop for the country. The temple is dedicated to these two, and to Erechtheus, a legendary king of Athens who started the Panathenaic festival.
The Erechtheion has three main spaces: A central chamber which contained the ceremonial olive-wood statue of Athena, a large ceremonial porch on the south wall of the Acropolis marking the spot where Poseidon's trident drew water from the rock, and the famous Porch of the Maidens (Caryatids) which protected the tomb of Athens founder, king Cecrops.
The Erechtheion -south side
The Erechtheion was built in ca. 420 B.C. in the Ionic order. It has a prostasis on the east side, a monumental propylon on the north, and the famous porch of the Caryatids on the south. The main temple was divided into two sections, dedicated to the worship of the two principal gods of Attica, Athena and Poseidon-Erechtheus. A relief frieze, bearing a representation possibly of the birth of Erechtheus, decorated the exterior of the building.
Was built in ca. 420 B.C. in the Ionic order.
It has a prostasis on the east side, a monumental propylon on the north, and the famous porch of the Caryatids on the south.
The main temple was divided into two sections, dedicated to the worship of the two principal gods of Attica, Athena and Poseidon-Erechtheus.
A relief frieze, bearing a representation possibly of the birth of Erechtheus, decorated the exterior of the building
Acropolis - the Erechteion
The porch of the Caryatids (women's statues as I call them) will catch your attention but you'll be disappointed to know those are just replicas - the original ones are in the Acropolis Museum, which is just steps away. With the exception of one statue which was taken to the British Museum...
Erechtheion Temple (Akropolis)
The Erechtheion is a temple built upon the site of the battle for Athens among the gods Poseidon and Athena. It's most impressive feature are the six stauary columns that feature caryatids or nymphs.
Hours:8:30 am-6:30 pm (longer in summer)
Beside the Acropolis is the Erechtheion, immediately recognisable for its much-photographed Caryatids, the six maidens who take the place of columns. The onsite Acropolis Museum houses a collection of sculptures and reliefs from the site.
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The Erechtheion was built in...
was built in ca. 420 B.C. in the Ionic order.
It has a prostasis on the east side, a monumental propylon on the north, and the famous porch of the Caryatids on the south. The main temple was divided into two sections, dedicated to the worship of the two principal gods of Attica, Athena and Poseidon-Erechtheus. A relief frieze, bearing a representation possibly of the birth of Erechtheus, decorated the exterior of the building.
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