Architecture Around the World

Parthenon
Acropolis, Greece

TEXT Beneath Illustrations


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Sculpture in the pediment

Sculpture in the pediment

Metope sculpture

Mutules


Gargoyle

Triglyphs and Metope sculpture



Architect: Ictinus (Iktonis).

Style: Doric.17 columns on each side and 8 at each end.

The Parthenon originally had sculpture on both of its pediments, as well as a frieze running around the entire temple. The frieze was made up of alternating triglyphs and metopes.

The east pediment showed scenes from the birth of Athena, while the west pediment showed Athena and Poseidon's contest for possession of Athens.

The long frieze showed the battle of the Athenians against the Amazons, scenes from the Trojan War, and the struggles of the Olympian gods against giants and centaurs.

An interior frieze showed scenes from the Panathenaic Festival each August, when citizens proc essed through the streets, bringing a new tunic for the statue of Athena.

Only a few fragments of any of these sculptures remain in place

Gold and cream tones of the Parthenon's Pantelic marble (originally painted in gay colors.)

The Parthenon roof and much of its interior were blown up in 1687 when the Venetians attempted to capture the Acropolis from the Turks who were storing gunpowder and munitions in Parthenon, and shell struck the temple. Most of the remaining sculptures were carted off to London by Lord Elgin in the first decade of the 19th century. (Those surviving sculptures - known as the Elgin Marbles - are on display in the British Museum.)

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Photos and their arrangement 2001 Chuck LaChiusa
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