The Parthenon and Gould Memorial Library
Even though the Greek Golden Age lasted only 50 years the effects of this time period can still be widely seen even today. Since Greece was the birth place of democracy and we are a democratic nation, many of our government buildings draw inspiration from Greek architecture. The Greeks believed that man is the measure of all and in their art and architecture they constantly tried to achieve perfect balance, proportion, and unity.
The Parthenon was the hugest temple in the Acropolis in Athens. The Acropolis or “high city” is an elevated rock supporting several temples, precincts, and other buildings. It used to be a citadel during the Mycenaean period. The temple was designed by the architects Iktinos and Kallikrates and was constructed from 448 B.C. to 432 B.C. The Greek general Perikles initiated the architectural projects and vast rebuilding campaign to celebrate Athenian art and civilization which included The Parthenon, The Nike temple, The Erechtheum, and The Propylaea. The Parthenon was built using the Doric order but however it has two Ionic features included which expressed the Athenians interest in harmonizing the architecture of eastern and western Greece.
The first Ionic feature in The Parthenon is the four Ionic columns inside of the treasury; the second feature is a continuous Ionic frieze around the top of the outside of the inside wall. The Temple is for Athena and the eastern pediment tells the tale of the birth of Athena which is utterly beautiful. The western pediment shows Athena contesting Poseidon for patronage of Athens. The Parthenon is of Doric Order, we can see this quite easily in many features such as the columns which are wide with no bases and plain column capitals. Atop the capitals are plain architraves which support the frieze which has metopes and triglyphs which are exclusive to the Doric Order. Finally at the very top are the...
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