Sunday, April 22, 2007


The Erechtheion is an ancient Greek temple built between 421 BC and 407 BC on the Acropolis in Athens, Greece. The architect is thought to have been Mnesicles and dedicated to the the Greek hero Erichthonius. Others believe it was built in honor of the great King Erechtheus. The temple itself is dedicated to Athena and Poseidon Erechtheus. The main structure consists of four compartments. The largest compartment is the east cella. The other compartments include an Ionic portico, a large porch with columns, and the famous "porch of the maidens." The porch of the maidens features six female figures used as the supporting columns. One of the original figures was sold to Lord Elgin for his Scottish mansion but the other five are preserved in the Acropolis museum. The six figures sitting there today are exact replicas of the originals. The temple is made out of marble and is on a slope, making the west and north sides a little taller than the east and south sides. During the temples "glory days," it had friezes made with black limestone, elaborate doorways and windows, and ornately decorated columns. Today, the interior of the temple has been slightly messed up due to the Erechtheion's use as a church and possibly a Turkish harem.
Amy Altman

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