Archaeological sites

Erechtheion Acropolis Athens

The Erechtheion of Athens in Greece

The construction of the Erechtheion Acropolis Athens began in 421 BCE under the responsibility of the statesman of Perikles. Moreover it replaced the ruins of an earlier temple. Persian army destroyed that earlier temple. In addition the purpose of the monument's construction was to house the woven cult statue of Athena Polias. Symbolically the monument declared the glory of Athens to the whole world. In particular Perikles hired Phidias as a sculptor of the building. Complementary the architect Philocles supervised the completion of the monument in 406 BCE. The name “ Erechtheion” originates from Erechtheus, the mythical king. 

ionic order column Erechtheion Acropolis

The chambers of the construction

The cella consists of four chambers. More specifically the eastern chamber hosted the olivewood statue of Athena Polias. During the Panathenaic festival ancient Greeks dressed Athena's statue with the sacred peplos. On the other hand, at the western side is the sacred serpent (oikouros ophis). Similarly other chambers hosted the wooden statue of Hermes, the porch sacred to Poseidon Erechtheus, the altar of Zeus Hypatos. Complementary the south side accomodated the female statues of Caryatids. Caryatids sculptures are the most distinctive artifacts of Erechtheion. The statues’ usage was to support the roof  instead of using columns. Acropolis exposes five statues of Caryatids while the British museum accommodate one of them.

Greek Temples Karyatid of the Erecththeion

Changes to the Erechtheion Acropolis Athens

The fire damaged the temple in the first century BC. Hence at that period the restoration works of it started. Then in the sixth century AD the temple became a church. Under the frankish rule it became a palace. During the Ottoman Empire Erechtheion used to be the residence of the Turkish governor’s harem. In 1801 AD Lord Elgin took away the sculpture decoration of the monument and one of the Caryatids. Then he sold these magnificent masterpieces to the British government. British museum exhibit these artifacts. During the Greek War of Independence took place the bombardment of the temple. After that it started the plan of restoration.

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