Athens is the capital of Greece, one of the oldest cities and capitals in the world. According to the legend, the city was founded in the 16th - 13th centuries BC. Over time, the ancient city became a major economic, political and cultural center of Greece. The main direction in the architectural work of that era was the construction of temples. Just rent a car at Athens airport and travel across the Athenian acropolis, observing the masterpieces of ancient architecture: the Parthenon, the Temple of Athena Nike, the temple of the Erechtheion, etc.
All three Greek orders – Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian – are presented in the architectural monuments of ancient Athens. Among the most famous creators of great Athens are Phidias, Ictinus, Callicrates, Mnesikles, Myron, etc.
The architecture of the Athenian Acropolis or the marble Olympus is magnificent and unrivaled. It was erected under the Pericles’ Reign in 445 - 427 years BC under the general guidance of Phidias – an ancient great Greek sculptor. The Acropolis was the sanctuary, fortification, public center for the Athenians. There was a state treasury, a library, and an art gallery (Pinacoteca). The most famous works of Phidias were a statue of Zeus in the Temple of Zeus at Olympia and a statue of Athena Parthenos in the Parthenon. Phidias’s statue of Zeus at Olympia was among the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
One of the great masters of the sanctuary also was the Greek architect Ictinus, who worked during the reign of Pericles. He developed a plan for the construction of Parthenon. Ictinus’s constructions were distinguished by their plasticity and organic combination of Doric and Ionic forms.
Another creator of the Parthenon is Callicrates (470 - 420 BC). He built the Parthenon according to the drawings made by Ictinus. He was the creator of the Temple of Athena Nike, which stands on the bastion of the Acropolis to the right from the Propylaea. There were four columns on the front sides of the temple. Callicrates decorated the temple with the specific relief on which there were the scenes of mythological and historical battles. The very exquisite miniature Temple of Athena Nike an extremely vivid example of one of the few monuments of the Ionian orders that has survived in quite a good condition.
The entrance to the Acropolis is called Propylaea (437 - 432 BC). One of the main architects in the construction of the monumental entrance gate is Mnesikles, an ancient Greek master and a representative of high classics. The gates themselves had five aisles for passage. The middle aisle was intended for the passage of riders and the run of sacrificial animals. It was much wider than the others. Plutarch, a great Greek biographer, who wrote long after the completion of the Parthenon, recognizes him as an architect of the Propylaea.
The Parthenon is the crown of the rocky hill Acropolis. The magnificent structure was 69.5 meters long and surrounded by 46 ten-meter columns. The temple did not have any interior decorations, so the splendor of the temples was in their external appearance, and there was only a statue of the deity inside the temple. The Phidias's statue of Athena Parthenos was housed in the Parthenon until it was removed by the Romans in the 5th century AD and now it is lost.
Ancient writers often mention the name of the Discobolus ("Discus Thrower") creator, Myron, and put him among the best sculptors of the 5th century BC. Myron is a sculptor who preceded the highest flourishing of Greek art, lived and worked in Athens and was awarded the title of Athenian citizen. Myron created a large number of statues of gods and heroes, which were located throughout Greece.
Thanks to the hard work of Athenian architects, the city has become one of the most beautiful historical places in the world.
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