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Transcript of Greek Architecture
By Erika James
Why did the greeks build temples?
The ancient Greeks believed that their gods had similar needs to people. When not on Mount Olympus they would need a place to live. The Greeks built elaborate temples as a place for their gods and goddesses to live. They hoped if they made magnificent temples and made offerings to them the gods would help them in return.
What were the temples made of?
The Greeks build their temples using wood, unbaked bricks, limestone, marble, terracotta, and metals. Contractors that build edifices are still using these materials today whether its for structures signifying religion, politics, or recreation. The materials used in their temples could also show wealth and power of the city state. The richest such as Athens would use the finest materials such as sparkling white marble to build their temples. They would also be decorated with statues, paintings, and carvings.
Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian
The three main types of Greek architecture are based on the style of columns or pillars. These three styles are called Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian. Doric is most commonly used. Its design is simple and uncomplicated with straight lines. The Ionic style is a pattern with two large ram horns protruding on each side. Corinthian is a more ornate style with complicated carvings showing leaves and flowers. The Greeks didn't use this style as often.
Here are the parts to a column
Located on the capital there is two scrolls which is called volutes. Between the volutes there is a curved section that's often carved with oval decorations known as egg and dart. Above the capital the entablature is more narrow then the Doric. The frieze contains a continuous band of sculpture.
The Corinthian looks much like the Ionic style. The only difference is its capital is far more ornate. Its carved with two tiers of curly acanthus leaves.
Metopes are the spaces between the triglyps and are usually sculpted with figures and ornamentation.
On the entablature theres a distinctive frieze that's decorated with vertical channels called triglyphs.
The regula is what separates the frieze from the architrave.
The shafts are sculpted with concave curves called flutes.
The capitals are plain with a rounded section at the bottom wich is called the echinus.
Above the echinus is a square top called the abacus.
This is the porch at the rear of a cella and also a place where offerings to the temple were stored.
The inner main chamber of a temple can be called a cella or a naos. This is where there is the statue of the god the temple was built for.
This was the porch, or entrance hall to the cella.
This is the slightly thickened ends of the lateral cella walls.
In 447 BC work began on the Parthenon under orders of Pericles. He wanted to show the wealth and power of Athenians. They had to replace an existing temple that was destroyed by the Persians. It was important to thank Athena, goddess of war, who they believed helped them win the battles. Sacrifices would have been made to Athena here. Every four years the Athenians held a big festival to honor Athena. The festival ended at the Parthenon. Some people also think the Parthenon was really a treasury. There was lots of gold stored at the back of the temple, and on the statue of Athena there was even 1000kg of gold. The Parthenon was also unique for all the carvings and paintings done on the frieze, metopes, and pediment. In 432 BC after constructing the perfect temple the Parthenon was finally finished.
What Happened to the Parthenon?
The Parthenon had been used by the greeks for centuries, but it didn't remain a temple to Athena forever. In the 300s AD Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire. Once this had happened pagan religion was banned. Then in the Middle Ages it was used as a church, and later when the Turks ruled Athens it became a mosque. In 1687 the Turks were using as an arsenal. Therefore it was filled with barrels of gunpowder. When the Venetians bombarded it with cannon fire it lead to a big explosion witch destroyed the middle and the roof. Today the greek government is doing its best to restore the Parthenon but this will take many years to finish.
Greek Architecture Today
Greek architecture is still admired today. Just by looking at it can tell us a lot of history and information. The Greeks simplicity, proportion, perspective, and harmony provides us with some of the most finest and distinctive buildings in the entire ancient world. These building greatly influence architects. Today you can see buildings, monuments, and even houses that have borrowed ideas from Greece's most famous landmarks throughout history. Some of modern day architecture is very similar compared to ancient Greek architecture.
US congress building
Here are some more famous Greek style buildings
Carnegie Building in Victoria
St Peter's Basilica in Rome, Italy
United State Supreme Court
This is a series of columns that are equally spaced and arranged in a straight line geometric shape.
Thanks for watching!