Acropolis of Athens

(Greek akropolis, from akros – top and polis – the city), the ennobled and strengthened part of the Ancient Greek city, fortress, a shelter on a war case. On the Acropolis usually built temples in honor of deities patrons of this city. The Acropolis in Athens is best-known. Its constructions are refined on proportions and are harmoniously connected with a landscape. This ensemble created under the general guide of Pheidias consists of a main entrance Propylaea (437-432 BC, the architect Mnesikl), the temple Athens Nike (449-420 BC, the architect Kallikrat), the main thing the temple of the Acropolis and Athens of Parthenon (447-438 BC, architects Iktin and Kallikrat), the temple Erekhteyon (421-406 BC) . The ACROPOLIS in Athens, the strengthened part of ancient Athens where there were main shrines of the city, is well-known for the cult constructions of the classical period. The Acropolis of Athens representing the 156-meter rocky hill with flat top (apprx. 300 m in length and 170 m width), the place of the most ancient settlement in Attica. During the Mycenaean period (15-13 centuries BC) was the strengthened imperial residence. In 7-6 centuries BC on the Acropolis big construction was conducted. At the tyrant Pisistrat (560-527) on the place of the imperial palace the temple of the goddess of Athena Gekatompedon was built (i.e. the temple of hundred steps; fragments of sculptures of pediments remained, the base is revealed). In 480 during the Greek-Persian wars temples of the Acropolis were destroyed by Persians. Residents of Athens swore an oath to restore shrines only after exile of enemies from Hellas. In 447 at the initiative of Pericles on the Acropolis new construction began; the management of all works was entrusted to the famous sculptor Pheidias who, probably, and was the author of the art program which formed the basis of all complex, its architectural and sculptural appearance.

Propylaea and Niki Apteros’s temple
The sacred road on which from an agora to the temple of the goddess-patroness the procession of Athenians moved to time of the main holiday Great panafiny conducts to Propylaea having 5 passes and in the ancient time flanked by two equestrian statues Dioskur. In the left, acting their wing, the Picture gallery (meeting of the pictures-pinak presented to the goddess to Athena) settled down, in right there was a storage of manuscripts and the room for the gatekeeper and watchmen. To the right of Propily on Pyrgos (a ledge of the strengthened rock) there is a small, easy and graceful temple of the Ionic warrant consecrated to Athena Nika known as Niki Apteros’s temple (A wingless Victory; 443-420, architect Kallikrat).
After participants of a procession passed Propylaea and entered on the sacred territory, before them the panorama of the central part of a complex opened. In the forefront, roads are slightly more left, the enormous bronze statue of Athena of Promakhos (Warrior) cast by Pheidias towered. Behind it Erekhteyon (the architect is unknown), the temple Athens and Poseidon on the place of dispute of these gods for possession of Attica was in the distance visible. The temple has the unique asymmetric plan in the Greek architecture; three of its porticoes are located at the different levels: from West side the portico conducting to the temple Athens Poliady (City) with northern an entrance to Poseidon-Erekhtey’s sanctuary, at the southern wall of the temple the well-known portico of caryatids; all building was surrounded by a frieze with laid on white figures (did not remain). In Erekhteyona, the oldest sanctuary of Athens, was sacred xoanon of Athens (a wooden statue), according to the legend come on a silver platter, altars of Hephaestus and Booth’s hero, a tomb of the legendary Athenian tsar Kekrop, from the West the sanctuary of the attic goddess of dew Pandrosa adjoined. Erekhteyona grew in the yard the sacred olive presented to the city by Athena, the salty source which was cut the trident by Poseidon beat.
Ease of forms, special refinement of decorative finishing and complexity of composition small by the sizes Erekhteyon contrasts with strict and majestic, is emphasized with monumental Parthenon (the temple Athens Maidens; 69,5 m in length and 30,9 m width, height of columns are 10,5 m; 447 it is consecrated in 438; the architect Iktin with the assistance of Kallikrat), representing a Doric peripter. The building is perceived from Propily in three quarters, the audience saw not one of his facades, and all volume of a construction, gained an impression about its shape in general and before to see the main, east facade, had to bypass the temple outside. In the temple, in a naosa, there was a hrisoelefantinny statue of Athena of Parfenos (Maiden) of work of Pheidias, sacred money of the goddess and treasury of the Athenian sea union were stored in an opisthodomos. In pediments the sculptural groups representing most significant in a stump of Athena of an event her birth and dispute with sea god Poseidon for possession of Attica were located. Reliefs a metope on perimeter of the building represented scenes of mythological battles. Architectural details, a sculpture and reliefs were brightly painted. The plan and the order decision of Parthenon also differ from traditional in a number of features: before naosy there was a hall a maiden hall (Parthenon which gave the name to all temple), on a wall of a naos there was an Ionic frieze with the image of Panafineysky procession. In front of Parthenon, on the right side from Propily, also Artemis Bravroniya’s sanctuaries and Athens of Ergana (Craft), storage of the weapon and a sacred armor of Halkotek settled down (450). The open space of the Acropolis was occupied by numerous altars and gifts to gods of a statue, stele. The northwest slope of the Acropolis was adjoined by the temple and Dionysus’s theater (6 century BC it is reconstructed in 326), Pericles’s Odeum (the covered round building for musical competitions) (the 2nd a floor. 5 century BC), Gerod’s theater Attica (2 century AD), Asclepius’s sanctuary, Costing Evmen’s (Portico).
Ensemble of the Acropolis
The acropolis towers over all Athens, its silhouette forms a city silhouette. Rising over the hill Parthenon in the ancient time it was possible to see from any end of Attica and even from islands Salamin and Aegina; gloss of a spear and helmet Athens Warriors already from a distance was visible to the seafarers who are swimming up to the coast. In the ancient time the sanctuary was known not only as the well-known cult center, but also as the monument of great art confirming glory of Athens as “schools of Hellas” and the most beautiful city. The thought-over composition of all ensemble, perfectly found general proportions, a flexible combination of various warrants, the thinnest molding of architectural details and their extraordinary exact drawing, close interrelation of architecture and sculptural furniture do Acropolis constructions by the highest achievement of Ancient Greek architecture and one of the most outstanding monuments of world art.
Acropolis during the subsequent eras
In 5 century Parthenon became church of the Mother of God, the statue of Athena of Parfenos was transported to Constantinople. After a gain of Greece Turks (in 15 century) the temple was turned into the mosque to which attached minarets, then in an arsenal; Erekhteyon became a harem of the Turkish pasha, Niki Apteros’s temple was sorted, from his blocks the bastion wall is put. In 1687 after hit of a kernel from the Venetian ship explosion destroyed almost all central part of the temple Athens Maidens, in unsuccessful attempt of Venetians to remove sculptures of Parthenon several statues were broken. At the beginning of the 19th century the Englishman lord Elgin broke out a row a metope, tens of meters of a frieze and almost all remained sculptures of pediments of Parthenon, a caryatid from Erekhteyon’s portico. After declaration of independence of Greece during restoration works (generally in a game. 19 century) the ancient shape of the Acropolis was whenever possible restored: all late building in its territory is liquidated, Niki Apteros’s temple, etc. is newly laid out. Reliefs and sculptures of temples of the Acropolis are in the British museum (London), in Louvre (Paris) and the Museum of the Acropolis. The sculptures remaining under the open sky are replaced with copies now.

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