Athens Acropolis: 4 Authentic Ancient Greek Temples

Athens Acropolis – Are you going to visit the Acropolis of Athens? The Acropolis of Athens is very famous for its Authentic Ancient Greek Temples.

In order to appreciate more your visit it’s useful to read this post to have more information about the ancient Greek Temples in the Acropolis.

The Erechtheion: ancient Greek Temple of the Ionic order

The Erechtheion is one of the most famous Ancient Greek Temples in the Athens Acropolis because of the Caryatids. It is one of the ancient Greek temples of the Ionic order. Its name comes from the name of Erechtheus, the mythical king of Athens.

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The construction probably started before the outbreak of the Peloponnesian War (431 B.C) or after the conclusion of the “peace of Nicias” (421 B C. and was finished in 406 B C.).

Authentic Ancient Greek Temples in Athens Acropolis Erechtheion

The Erechtheion consists of two sections divided by an interior wall. The eastern section was 3 m higher than the western. It was dedicated to Athena and housed the Xoanon, the ancient wooden cult statue of the goddess. 

The western section was also divided into three parts dedicated to the cult of Poseidon, Hephaestus and the hero Butes.

Authentic Ancient Greek Temples in Athens Acropolis Erechtheion

At the south side there is the Porch of the Maidens. The roof of the porch is supported by six statues of young women. At the north side there is instead a porch with 6 Ionic columns.

Today the figures of white marble, that were attached on the decoration of the upper part of the building are preserved in the Acropolis Museum.

Also the original Caryatids are preserved in the Acropolis Museum. Infact the ones in the temple are only copies.

Authentic Ancient Greek Temples in Athens Acropolis Caryatids

The Temple of Athena Nike: a small Greek Temple

The Temple of Athena Nike is a small ancient greek temple on the Acropolis of Athens. It was dedicated to Athena Nike, the goddess of war and protectress of the city. It was built in the classical era, around 420 B.C. 

The classical temple was built over an earlier small temple, which housed the Xoanon. 

Authentic Ancient Greek Temples in Athens Atena nike

The architect Kallikrates built the classical temple in the Ionic order, with four columns at the front and as well as the rear. It’s made with the native Pentelic marble.

In the temple rich sculptural decoration praises the victorious battles of the Athenians.

Gold-plated bronze Nike decorated the corners of the gables. The Ionic frieze, which runs along the upper part of the temple depicts Greek wars and on the east side the assembly of the Olympian gods. 

The Old Temple of Athena

The Old Temple of Athena on the Athens Acropolis was an Archaic temple situated to the south of the Erechtheion.

Today only the foundations are still visible. This ancient Greek temple was built in 525-500 BC. It was destroyed in 480 BC, during the Persian invasion. Many of its parts are now incorporated in the wall of the Acropolis. 

It was dedicated to Athena Polias and it housed the xoanon, as well as the Erechtheion and the Temple of Athena Nike. The western section was divided into three parts. It was possibly dedicated to the cult of Poseidon, Hephaestus and the hero Boutes.

The Old Temple of Athena is a Doric peripteral building. It has 6 columns at the front, as well as at the rear, and 12 at the sides. It was built of poros, while marble was used for some upper parts, such as the metopes, pedimental sculptures and tiles. 

One pediment was adorned with a sculpted group illustrating the Gigantomachy, while other featured a partially preserved group of lions devouring a bull.

The altar located to the east of the temple is no longer preserved.

The Parthenon

Last but not least on the Athens Acropolis there is the famous Parthenon. There is a lot to say about this temple. If you want to know more about this Ancient Greek Temple visit the following page: Why is the Parthenon so special? Why is it famous?

View from Athens Acropolis

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