Greek Architecture


Greek Architecture Essay, Research Paper

Architecture represents the time period or culture for which it was built. The Berlin article discussed some interesting details concerning the rebuilding of their culture. There were many famous architect who had different views on how Berlin should be built in order restore the culture of the past. “This is Berlin?s “Capital Dilemma” the title of a new book by author Michael Wise, who examines the quest to develop building which are fitting to united Germany?s new status in Europe, while stressing a break with its turbulent history.” This quote from the Berlin article shows that architects wanted to rebuild Germany to reflect their culture of the past, present, and future. The architecture must show styles of the past so that people of the future can reflect on events that took place in the past.

Greek architecture shows many different styles depending on the time period. The Basilica and The Temple of Poseidon are both Doric temples but are very different in structure. The Basilica?s columns are more burdened by their load than those of the Temple of Poseidon, so that the contrast between the supporting and supported members of the order is dramatized rather than balanced, as it is in later building. The Parthenon is the greatest Doric Temple that was completed before the Peloponnesian War. The Parthenon was dedicated Athena, the patron deity in whose honor Athens was named. This work of art dominated Athens and the surrounding countryside. Unlike any other Temple the Parthenon contains columns that represent both Doric and Ionic Architecture. The Ionic Temples are the next order of Greek Architecture. The Ionic columns are lighter and more graceful than the Doric columns. The Parthenon enjoys the reputation of being the most perfect Doric temple ever built. The temple stands on the conventional three steps, below which the foundation platform originally created for its predecessor remained visible on the west, south and east sides of the building. The cella consisted of two rooms end to end with porches. Inside the colonnades, towards the end, there stood the gold and ivory statue of Athena Parthenos, the work of Phidias, representing Athena fully armed with spear, helmet, aegis and, accompanied by a snake, and holding in her extended right arm a statue of victory. The ceiling was of wood, with painted and gilded decoration. The most exceptional Ionic building on the Acropolis is the Erechtheum, to the north of the Parthenon. Built about 420 B.C., the temple was regarded with special veneration. Its site was particularly sacred, for it included the tomb of Cecrops, the legendary founder of Athens, the rock that preserved the mark of Poseidon’s trident, and the spring that arose from it. In a walled area just to the west of the temple stood the sacred olive tree of Athena. The building’s complexity of plans and levels can be partly understood from this complicated archaeology, as well as from its having housed not only a shrine to Athena Polias, but also altars to Poseidon, god of the sea; Hephaestus, god of fire; Erechtheus, a mythical king of Athens, who had battled unsuccessfully with the sea god; and Butes, brother of Erechtheus and priest to Athena and Poseidon. Moreover, spoils from the Persians were kept in the temple, as well as the famous golden lamp of Callimachus, which burnt for a year without refilling and had a chimney in the form of a palm tree. In comparison to the Doric Order, the Ionic Order contains columns that are more decorative and less weight bearing which intern gives them a famine look. Corinthian is the last order of Greek Architecture . In the beginning of the Corinthian order, the new style of columns were used only on the inside of buildings. About a century later, Corinthian capitals took over Ionic Columns on the exterior of buildings. The Corinthian columns are engaged rather than free-standing, to make the monument look more compact. Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian each represent a new period of Greek Architecture. This shows people how architecture advances from the past to the present. In the Greek culture each temple represents a certain God or Goddess from Mythological Time. Also, each city had their own patron God or Goddess.

Architecture is a very important aspect in determining a specific culture and time period. Greek architecture is split up into three distinct periods. Each period had a specific style and design which makes it unique. This is the reason the people of Berlin are concerned with the way in which their city is rebuilt. They want people to think of Berlin as a historical site where many important events have taken place. The architects wanted to restore the past and at the same time create architecture of the future. In my opinion it is very important for people of the future to be able to learn about the struggle that the people of Berlin went through before they were unified.


Janson Book of Art History


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