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Greek Architecture The Parthenon was one such temple

dedicated to Athena the patron goddess


The Greeks believed in certain ideas of Athens. It was built in 449 B.C. by
like reason, moderation, balance and Pericles the leader of Athens. Pericles
harmony in their designing of designing asked the famous sculptor Phidias to
and building structures. The most help design and build a new temple
important structure in Greek society was called the Parthenon which in Greek
the temple dedicated to the patron god means “dwelling of the maiden”.
or goddess. They were simple, graceful The building was 228 feet long, 65 feet
structures that were made of the finest high and 101 feet wide. It basically held
stone and marble. They served as two rooms- the main room held a forty
places for the ancient gods and foot statue of Athena made of gold and
goddesses to inhabit and for the people ivory. Her left hand rested on a twenty
to come and give sacrifices. foot spear and the right hand held a
These temples had a walled room in statue of Nike, the goddess of victory.
their center called a cella where the The other room was the temple
statues of the gods and goddess stood. treasury. Around these rooms 46
A smaller room was sometimes used as columns of the Doric order went around
a special treasury to hold gold and other the four sides. The Parthenon was built
offerings that were given to the temple throughout of the finest marble that was
complex. Large columns supported the very light in color and as stated by the
roof and at first were carved from wood. Greeks would reflect the suns colors at
Later the Greeks used marble blocks various times of the day.
chiseled from stone quarries to form The two triangular ends of the roof
these columns. The three different (pediments) were filled with sculpture
styles of columns, that the Greeks used depicting the birth of Athena (east) and
were the Doric, Ionic, and the the contest between Poseidon and
Corinthian. Athena for possession of Athens (west).
Usually the Greeks would build Along the frieze of the Cella there was a
their temples on an acropolis or the 524 foot continuous sculpture of 350
high part of the city. The acropolis people and 125 horses in the
would serve as a fortress and the Panathenaic procession honoring the
religious center of each city state. The birthday of Athena. Many of these
columns of the Greeks are one of the sculptures are consider to be some of
main types of architecture that we use the greatest sculptures ever made and
even today in buildings such as the were taken by a British Lord named
White house, and the Capitol building in Elgin and kept in the British museum in
Washington. Once the columns were London. The Parthenon was dedicated
built then the sculptors would come in to Athena but it also clearly showed to
and design pictures of events that the world that Athens and the Athenian
pertained to the god or goddess or people were the most powerful and their
honor warriors who had defended their glory was second to none.
city state.