Ancient Greece & Rome before 300
102654333742500The Temple of Aphaia
The architecture above is The Temple of Aphaia located in northeast Aegina, Greece and has been estimated to be built in 480 BC. It is argued that the temple is the jewel in the crown of Aegina Island. The temple was designed in the typical Greek style, a column structure with several pediments. Referring to this temple specifically, the pediments make it stand out. Each pediment has an intricate sculpture engraved in stone. The sculpture on the east side is of a warrior from the early classical era while the west side is a sculpture of a fallen warrior of the Trojan War. Another unique architectural feature is the small room located in the temple along with a terrace wall which are believed to have been used for cult practices. At first, it was believed that the temple was built in honor of the Greek Goddess Athena. This was due to findings of many statues during excavations that resembled Athena greatly. But, 100 years later historians decided to look into the temple a little more and discovered inscriptions that worshiped the goddess, Aphaia. This is the only known site for the worship of the goddess Aphaia, associated with fertility and agricultural cycles. According to mythology, she was also known for beauty and tranquility and her ability to escape tough situations. This explains her name translating to invisible. When the temple was first built, it’s said to have been beautifully decorated in bright colors and murals. As seen above, the temple isn’t in prime condition any longer. This is due to its extremely old age along with the raid of the temple by an English and a German thief in 1811. All valuables were taken from the historic temple including the most valuable sculptures. A few years later the prized sculptures were sold to Prince Ludwig I and now remain in the Glypotothek Museum in Munich, Germany.
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