Temple of Athena Nike - Athens, Greece
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Raven
N 37° 58.293 E 023° 43.493
34S E 739351 N 4206161
Quick Description: Begun in 427 BC, the Temple of Athena Nike ("Victorious Athena") was the first Ionic structure to be built on the Acropolis in Athens, Greece.
Location: Greece
Date Posted: 2/27/2013 7:47:15 PM
Waymark Code: WMGFNK
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member lumbricus
Views: 23

Long Description:
The Temple of Athena Nike ("Victorious Athena") was the first Ionic structure to be built in the Acropolis in Athens, Greece.

Built on top of the remains of an earlier 6th century BC temple to Athena that got demolished by the Persians in 480 BC, the decision to build a new temple -- Athena Nike -- was an expression of Athens' ambitions to defeat Sparta and become a world power. Construction began around 427 BC and was finally completed during the unrest of the Peloponnesian war, built in stages as wartime funding allowed.

The overall structure made of pentelic marble and based on classical Ancient Greek Ionic design: it includes 4 colonnaded porticoes in both the front and the back sides. Compared to other temples in the area, the structure’s size is rather modest: just a little over 8m long, 5.5m wide and 7m tall. The ratio of its height to the diameter of its columns is 7:1, which differs from the normal 9:1 or 10:1 ratio found on other Ionic buildings.

The temple's relatively small size was compensated for in its unique precarious location: it rests on a rocky outcrop, positioned such so that all Athenians could visit and worship the Goddess of victory in the hope of prosperous war-time outcomes. A statue of Athena Nike stood inside the temple: ancient scriptures describe the statue being made of wood, with Athena holding a helmet in her left hand and a pomegranate (which is the symbol of fertility) in her right. As this particular Athena Nike statue was wingless, a legend arose that the statue was deprived of wings so she could never leave the city.

The temple stood untouched until it was demolished in 1686 by the Turks who used the stones to build defenses against the Venetians, but was later completely reassembled. Today, the main structure remains largely intact despite it still missing a roof and most of its pediment.
City, State or City, Country: Athens, Greece

Year Built: 427 AD

Architect: Callicrates

Webpage from GreatBuildings.com or other approved listing: [Web Link]

Other website with more information about building: [Web Link]

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