Built into the hillside to the left of the Parthenon, the elegant and delicate form of THE ERECHTHEION supposedly contained the tomb of Erechtheus, a statue of Athena and a temple for Poseidon. Construction of the Erechtheion began in 420 B.C. and concluded in 406 B.C.
The Temple faces east and its entrance is lined with six long Ionic columns. The Temple is unusual in that it incorporates two Porches (prostaseis). One at the northwest corner which is supported by the tall Ionic columns and one at the southwest corner which is supported by six massive female statues, the famous Caryatids. The maidens are not the original statues. They are located in the Acropolis Museum encased in glass.
I found the Erechtheion the most wonderful of the Acropolis buildings. I sure took enough pictures of it.
The Erechtheum is an ancient Greek temple on the north side of the Acropolis. The temple as seen today is considered to be built in the V-th century BC. It may have been built in honor of the legendary king Erechtheus. The main structure consists of up to four compartments, the largest being the east cella, with an Ionic portico on its east end.
The internal layout has since been obscured by the temple's later use as a church and possibly as a Turkish harem.
You may watch my high resolution photo of Acropolis on the Google Earth according to the following coordinates 37º 58' 18.39" N 23º 43' 33.66" E or on my Google Earth Panoramio Erechtheion.
The Erectheum is one of the more unusual buildings on the Acropolis. It is built into the hillside and has many unusual sides and angles in its design. At one time it supposedly housed the tomb of Erechtheus (a mytholigical hero), a statue of Athena Polias and a temple for Poseidon. According to mythology Athena challenged Poseidon for the honor of becoming the patron dividinity of Athens. Poseidon created a salt water spring, but Athena caused an olive tree to grow on the spot. The judges chose Athena's olive tree as the winner. Today there is an olive tree growing near the one side of the temple to represent this contest. I did not walk on this side of the building as I did not realize there was an olive tree there until I came home and read some references on the building.
The Porch of Maidens on the one side are not the original statues. They are located in the Acropolis Museum. There are six caryatids or maidens holding up the support for the porch. Instead of saying te caryatids or maidens Mark nicknamed them 'the chicks" and that became our label for them the rest of our stay.
The elaborate design of this temple is in direct contrast to the simple beauty of the Parthenon just above it. All in all a fascinating building.
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.
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!
Just beside the Parthenon sits the Erechtheum, a temple dedicated either to the legendary Greek hero Erichthonius or King Erechtheus. This is another fine example of Greek architecture and the highlight of the building is the "Porch of the Caryatids", where six maidens statues stand as supporting columns facing the Parthenon.
However, the caryatids you see in the Erechtheum are actually replicas of the originals. One of the statues was removed and is now housed in the British Museum, while you can see the remaining caryatids in the Acropolis Museum.
Construction of Erechtheion started in year 421 BC and ended in 406 BC. Most probably the architect's name was Mnesicles.
Erechtheion was sacrificed to Erechthereus, subduer of Eleusis and bringer of civilization to Attica, later identified with Poseidon.
The place is famous for its Caryatid Porch. Unfortunately the maidens we can see today are only copies :(
About 90 metres to the east, coming from the Propylaea, the Erechteion is located. In ancient times, the palace of the emperor of Mycenian Athens was situated here. Later there was built a first Erechteion at this place, but that one was destroyed in 480 B.C. by the Persians.
The new Erechteion, that is visible now, was built between 437 and 432, and between 409 and 406 B.C. There was a break in the construction because of the Peloponnesian War. This Erechteion the the second largest building on top of the Acropolis. Only the Parthenon is bigger. The building is named after its architect: Erechteus, who is told to be buried inside the temple.
In the Erechteion three gods are honoured: Zeus, Poseidon and Hephaistos. There also was a wooden statue of goddess Athena inside this temple. This statue first was located in the temple of Athene, but after the Erechteion was finished, it was moved here.
The Erechteion is built in an Ionical style of construction. Because of the fact that there are so many gods that are honoured in this temple, there was a complex group of spaces inside. The northern hallway was used as temple for Poseidon. The eastern room was dedicated to Athena. The rest of the spaces are not known.
The roof of the southern hallway is kept up by six famous womenstatues, the so called Kariathides. Because of pollution and rain the original statues have been damaged and therefore they have been removed and replaced by concrete copies.
This was Acropolis's holiest shrine, where in symbolic reconciliation, Athena and the city's old patron Poseidon- Erectheus were both worshipped.
Among the structures left here in Acropolis, this is my favorite. I just think its amazing how it is to design the pillars of this part of the temple into these maidens.
The south side of this temple, is the Porch of the Carytids, wherein the Ionic line was transformed into six maidens ( Carytids ) holding the entablature on their heads. What can be seen today are only replicas, four of the original ones are in the Acropolis Museum, one is in storage and one is in the British Museum.
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...
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.
The Erechtheoin is the most sacred part of the Acropolis. It was built between 421 - 406 BC and dedicated to the old gods of Athens and also to Poseidon and Athena, the dieties who, according to traditions, had quarelled over which of them was to be the patron of Athens. In the south porch of the Erechtheoin stands the Caryatids, scuptures of the kore type whose purpose was to support the roof of the temple. The ones that you see now are plaster casts - the originals are in the Acropolis Museum and one in the British Museum in London.
The Erechtheion, named after the mythical Athenian king Erechthonios, was the most important building on the Acropolis. It was a temple dedicated to Athena and Poseidon and was built on the supposed site of the battle for the naming rights to Athens between Athena and Poseidon. The olive tree that grows there today is said to have been on the spot where Athena planted her olive tree.
The temple was commissioned by Pericles but work did not begin until 421 BC, 8 years after his death. It was completed in 406 BC. It was built in the Ionic style.
The Erechtheion was used for many purposes over the years, including a harem for the wives of the Turkish commander in 1463. During the revolution, it was almost completely destroyed by a Turkish shell in 1827.
See my other tips for more details.
The Erechtheion is a very interesting building that was built on 3 levels to accomodate for the unevenness of the ground. The main temple is divided in 2 parts - 1 dedicated to Athena and the other dedicated to Poseidon. The northern porch had 6 columns and has fissures supposedly left by Poseidon's trident striking the ground. It is also where Athena's sacred olive tree grew. The southern porch is the porch of the Caryatids, explained in my next tip.