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Ancient Greek Architecture: Get the Glimpse of Iconic
Classical

Ancient Greek Architecture: Get the Glimpse of Iconic  

Can you guess what the most common thing between the Parthenon of Athens, theatre of Delphi, Stoa of Attalos, and Agios Andreas? Yes, they are all beautiful, but what other than that? The common about the thing is that these all are ancient greek architecture.

Ancient Greek architecture is known to the world for its temples. It plays a vital role in laying a strong foundation in modern architecture as its core elements include harmony, simplicity, proportion, and perspective. They have introduced the world about the use of columns as the primary and central element for building a structure. 

There is countless classical architecture who is still considered as marvelous and significant buildings in the world. So, without any time further, let’s delve into reading about magnificent examples of best ancient greek architecture:

Parthenon

ancient greek architecture

Source: britannica.com

Construction started: 447 BC

Architectural style: Doric order, Classical architecture

Location: Athens, Greece

Once titled as the world’s most beautiful by Business Insider, Parthenon was dedicated to the deity, Athena. The former temple was built between 447 BC to 438 BC as a symbol of victory of Athena as a leader who had defeated Xerxes and Darius. 

The structure was used for more than a thousand years despite loot, explosion, ravages of time, and damage caused by pollution. In the modern era, it remains the proud glory of the city. During its a thousand years tenure, it serves various purposes like a treasury of Delian league, Athenian empire and later was converted into a church dedicated to Virgin Mary.  

Talking about its architectural style, it stands firm on a platform of three steps with the eight columns at either end and seventeen columns on different sides. Cella divides the structure into two compartments and columns are of the Doric order with no bases, channeled shafts. Doric column measures 34 ft high and 6.2 ft in diameter, while the roof is covered with imbrices and tegulae(overlapping roof).

Popular historian john Julius Cooper says something beautiful about this structure, he says, “enjoys the reputation of being the most perfect Doric temple ever built. Even in ages, its architectural refinements were legendary, especially the subtle correlation between the curvature of the stylobate, the taper of the naos walls and the entasis of the columns”.

Temple of Artemis

ancient greek architecture

Source: foundtheworld.com

Construction started: 580 BC

Location: Kerkira, Greece

Temple of Artemis is the first and biggest Doric temple built with the stones, and it was dedicated to the goddess of the hunt, Artemis. It measures the width of 77ft and length of 161 ft and had east orientation so that sunlight can directly be entered into the interior of the temple. It is considered as the milestone of Greece architectural style and falls in the category of 150 masterpieces of Western architecture. The metope of the structure is decorated with the Achilles and Memnon’s carvings. This beautiful structure had inspired the design of the old sanctuary structure located in Italy. 

The front and rear side of the temple have 2 pediments which are decorated with the mythological figures and feature Gorgon Medusa. Both pediments are decorated in the same style and The New York Times says something like this, “the finest example of Archaic temple sculpture extant”.

Odeon of Herodes Atticus, Acropolis

ancient greek architecture

Source: thearchitecturedesigns.com

Construction started: 161 A.D.

Architectural style: Classical 

Location: Athens, Greece

The stone roman theatre was built by Herodes Atticus in the memory of his wife. The theatre holds the capacity for 5000 people and it was basically used for music concerts, Athens festival, Miss Universe Pageant, and many other events.

This semi-circular theater had a three-story front wall and a wooden roof, and after left ruined by a tribe, it was renovated in 1950. The seating areas were laid by marble after the renovation. The amazing part of the structure is that there is no support column at the roof, which is time an architectural achievement of that time. 

The best part of the spot is that it gives a spectacular view of the beautiful Acropolis. Although the spot is not open for public but it welcomes public events with open arms. 

The Temple of Zeus

ancient greek architecture

Source: ancient.eu

Construction started: 6th century BC

Architectural style: Corinthian order, Classical architecture

Location: Athen, Greece

The temple of Zeus is dedicated to the main Olympian god, Zeus. Once the center of Athens, it was designed by Libon of Elis. It took 638 years to complete the project, the construction began in the 6th century and completed in 2nd century AD. During the Roman period, it consists of 104 columns and famous for being the largest temple in Greece but the temple glory after the barbarian invasion. Today you can see only some part of the temple that includes 16 original columns. 

Let’s have a glimpse of its architectural style and why it is considered the finest Greece architecture. It was built in an open space of 250 x 130 m and the area was enclosed by the low-porous walls. At the center of open space, the temple is constructed, the beauty of the place is its Corinthian columns at the tall at 17.25m with a diameter of 1.7m and 20 flutes. The idol of the Zeus is made of ivory and gold. 

Temple of Apollo, Delphi

ancient greek architecture

Source: tripsavvy.com

Construction started: 4th century BC

Location: Delphi

Construction of Temple of Apollo begins in the 4th century BC and construction gets completed by 7th century BC. It was rebuilt in 6th century BC after the fire. It had 6 columns at the end and 15 columns at sides. The temple was destroyed and constructed several times because of which there is limited information about its interiors. Today the site is left with a few original pillars. But still is considered as the finest example of Greek architectural style.  

Temple of Hephaestus, Agora

ancient greek architecture

Source: wikimedia.org 

Construction started: 450 BC

Architectural style: Doric order, Classical architecture

Location: Athens, Greece

One of the well-preserved sites of Greek architecture is the Temple of Hephaestus. The temple was constructed two years before the construction of Parthenon. The temple was constructed to dedicate Hephaestus, the god of fire, metal-working, and craftsmanship. Some arch made of Pentelic and Parian marble, the place serves many purposes.

Archeologists believe that it was dedicated to other gods too. First, it served the purpose of the Church known as St. George Akamas, then it becomes burial places for braveheart who fought in the Greek War of Independence and in 1930 it was converted into a museum. 

Talking about the design and architecture of the temple, it has got 6 columns in the east, 13 on south and north. The decorative sculpture has got a mixture of two styles. Total there were 68 metopes out of which 18 were sculptured and others were painted.  

Erechtheion, Acropolis

ancient greek architecture

Source: imgur.com

Construction started: 421 BC

Architectural style: Classical architecture

Location: Athens, Greece

Architect: Mnesikles

Construction started in 421 BC and completed in 406 BC, Erechtheion, Acropolis was an epic example of classical architecture. It was dedicated to the god of the sea, Poseidon and goddess of wisdom, Athena. The temple was constructed on the slope with the marble, friezes with the black limestones. 

Doorways and its columns were beautifully decorated ornately. This iconic structure has got two large porches and its famous Porch of the Maidens”, with six draped female figures is a true example of the great wisdom of that era. The fine detailing like plaited hair and clothing of these female figures is beyond any description. 

Conclusion

These wonders and beauty of ancient greek architecture are dominating history and modern architecture. Although most of these structures have been ruined and destroyed, however, it is not deteriorating its importance. The classical architecture of Greece is a true example of creativity, beauty, and perfections. What do you think about them? Let us know your views in the comment section below. Keep following ArchitecturesStyle for more such amazing structures and lots more.

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