Saturday, November 03, 2007

Athens: τὸ Έρέχθειον

The Erektheion was one of my favorite structures in Athens. The unique design stands apart from the other standard building types, and it has a certain grace about it, sitting quietly in the shadow of the enormous Parthenon. It has three sections: the main temple, the north extension, and the porch; all three sections have separate roofs, and it is built at four different levels. It incorporates Ionic style columns of three different sizes. A relief frieze of Eleusinian stone decorated the outside of the building, perhaps depicting the birth of Erektheos.

The building we see today was built between 421-407 BC, perhaps designed by Mnesikles, who designed the Propylaia. The most famous features are undoubtedly the Καρυάτιδες, who make up the porch of the maidens, the female-figured architectural supports.


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