Architecture Around the World

Erechtheion
Acropolis, Athens, Greece

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Caryatids

Caryatids

Caryatids

Top: leaf and dart; leaf and dart; egg and dart; Palm tree leaves

 

 

 

Ionic column

Leaf and dart

 

 

 

Olive tree to commemorate Athena's victory over Poseidon

 

 


Built between 421 and 406 BC, the Erechtheion is situated on the most sacred site of the Acropolis. It is said to be where Poseidon left his trident marks in a rock, and Athena's olive tree sprouted, in their battle for possession of the city. Named after Erechtheus, one of the mythical kings of Athens, the temple was a sanctuary to both Athena Polias, and Erechtheus-Poseidon.

Famed for its elegant and extremely ornate Ionic architecture and caryatid columns in the shape of women, this extraordinary monument is built on different levels. The large rectangular cella (SELL a - inner room) was divided into three rooms. The cella was bounded by north, east, and south porticoes. The south is the Porch of the Caryatids, the maiden statues which are now in the Acropolis Museum.

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Photos and their arrangement © 2004 Chuck LaChiusa
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