The Ancient Greek Temple Ruins of Eréchtheio

The Ancient Greek Temple Ruins of Eréchtheio

Erechtheum or Erechtheion (Ερέχθειο) is a temple ruin located on the north side of the ancient citadel Acropolis in the capital city of Athens, Greece.

The Ancient Greek Temple Ruins of Eréchtheio

Noted as one of the world’s oldest cities it has history recorded over 3,400 years. This temple is part of the Acropolis of Athens and is dedicated to both the goddess Athena and god Poseidon.

The architect for this marvelous structure is thought to have been Mnesicles. The sculptor and mason was Phidias. It is thought to be a replacement for the Peisistratid temple of Aethena that was destroyed in 480 BC by the Persians. The structures is built entirely from marble that was gathered from Mount Pentelikon. Everything was decorated, carved and ornately elaborated for more than what is visible from the centuries of decay.

The Ancient Greek Temple Ruins of Eréchtheio

The Porch of Caryatids is supported by 6 female maidens draped in robes. This is one of the the most notable bits and is known as Porch of the Maidens. The porch was built to hide the large 15 foot beam that supports the southwest corner of the temple. This was done because the building size was smaller than originally planed due to budget allowances caused by the Peloponnesian war (431 – 404 BC).

The Ancient Greek Temple Ruins of Eréchtheio

The temple underwent extensive restoration in the 1st century BC after the Roman general Sulla burned the building entirely. It also was potentially closed during the persecution of pagans (begining sometime after 375 AD). Altered later into a temple dedicated to Theometer (this is when architectural features from ancient construction were lost). It also became the residence fot he Turkish commander’s harem in the Ottoman period.

The Caryatid ladies are not the originals. 5 are at the Old Acropolis Museum and 1 is at the British Museum after Lord Elgrin removed and then sold it to them. The replicas are made of marble as well.

The Acropolis of Athens is established by the UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. It is open for visitors from 10am – 7pm Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. On Sundays the hours are 9:45pm to 12am. On Monday it is 12am – 9pm.

The Acropolis Restoration Project has been ongoing since 1975 but has slowed greatly since 2017.

Where are the temple ruins located? You can find it with these coordinates. 37.972132, 23.726477.

The Ancient Greek Temple Ruins of Eréchtheio

Image 1 by Flicke / Flickr. Licensed under CC. Image 2 by Elena/Flickr. Licensed under CC. Image 3 by David/Flickr. Licensed under CC. Image 4 by F Tranchin/Flickr. Licensed under CC.

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