Acropolis of Athens – symbol of the City of Athens and one of the most recognizable monuments on the planet. The most important of Acropolis’s 5th century (BC) buildings is the Parthenon, built to house the gold and ivory statue of Athena Parthenos (the Vrigin), the Erechtheion with the six characteristic Caryatids (maidens), the Propylaia entrance to the Acropolis plateau and the adjacent small temple of Athena Nike.
The Acropolis is a 156 meter high flat-topped rock hill, and the literal meaning of the word ‘acropolis’ is “the highest city”. Acropolis was inscribed on the World Heritage list in 1987, citing it as the most striking and complete ancient Greek monumental complex still existing in our times.
The Parthenon contrast sharply with the elegance and delicate forms of neighbouring Erechtheion
The classical Parthenon was constructed between 447-432 BCE to be the focus of the Acropolis building complex. The temple’s main function was to shelter the monumental statue of Athena that was made by Pheidias out of gold and ivory. The Parthenon is a temple of the Doric order with eight columns at the façade, and seventeen columns at the flanks.
The elegance and delicate forms of the Erechtheion contrast sharply with the neighbouring Parthenon which counter-balances the architectural complex with its majestic, Doric presence. The temple faces east and its entrance is lined with six long Ionic columns. To the north and west the wall of the temple drops dramatically to almost twice the altitude of the front and south side’s. The temple is unusual in that it incorporates two porches; one at the north-west corner which is supported by tall Ionic columns, and one at the south-west corner which is supported by six massive female statues, the famous Caryatids.