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Ancient Greek Architecture
The Orders of Greek Architecture
DESCRIPTION:Of the three columns found in Greece, Doric
columns are the simplest. They have a capital (the top, or
crown) made of a circle topped by a square. The shaft (the tall
part of the column) is plain and has 20 sides. There is no base in
the Doric order. The Doric order is very plain, but powerfullooking in its design. Doric, like most Greek styles, works well
horizontally on buildings, that's why it was so good with the long
rectangular buildings made by the Greeks. The area above the
column, called the frieze [pronounced "freeze"], had simple
patterns. Above the columns are the metopes and triglyphs. The
metope [pronounced "met-o-pee"] is a plain, smooth stone
section between triglyphs. Sometimes the metopes had statues
of heroes or gods on them. The triglyphs are a pattern of 3
vertical lines between the metopes.
There are many
examples of ancient
Doric buildings.
Perhaps the most
famous one is the
Parthenon in Athens,
which is probably the
most famous and most
studied building on
Earth. Buildings built
even now borrow some
parts of the Doric order.
DESCRIPTION:Ionic shafts were taller than Doric ones. This
makes the columns look slender. They also had flutes, which are
lines carved into them from top to bottom. The shafts also had a
special characteristic: entasis, which is a little bulge in the
columns make the columns look straight, even at a distance
[because since you would see the building from eye level, the
shafts would appear to get narrower as they rise, so this bulge
makes up for that - so it looks straight to your eye but it really
isn't !] . The frieze is plain. The bases were large and looked like
a set of stacked rings. Ionic capitals consist of a scrolls above
the shaft. The Ionic style is a little more decorative than the
The Temple of Athena
Nike in Athens, shown
here, is one of the most
famous Ionic buildings
in the world. It is
located on the
Acropolis, very close to
the Parthenon
Temple of Athena Nike
Designed by the architect of
Parthenon Kallikrates, it was probably
build at 427 BC in pure Ionic style
from Pentelic marble. Due to the of
lack of money, the Peloponnesian war
and internal political strife's the
temple was not build at once. The
thorakion with the victories was
constructed around 410 BC, after the
war victories of Alkibiades. It was
damaged in the explosion of 1645
AD, and the columns were restored,
as close as possible, to the originals.
DESCRIPTION:The Corinthian order is the
most decorative and is usually the one most
modern people like best. Corinthian also uses
entasis to make the shafts look straight. The
Corinthian capitals have flowers and leaves
below a small scroll. The shaft has flutes and
the base is like the Ionian. Unlike the Doric
and Ionian cornices, which are at a slant, the
Corinthian roofs are flat.
The Temple of the Sybil
in Rome is a good
example of the
Corinthian order. The
Romans used the
Corinthian order much
more than did the
Ancient Agora with Acropolis on top.
The theater of Dionysus, under the south
side of the Acropolis.
The remains from the Theater of Sparta.
The temple of Zeus, 470 - 456 BC
The Palaestra, 3rd century BC
The official entrance to the Stadium, for the
judges and the athletes.
The Stadium, as it is today, dates to the 4th century BC.
It is the third in succession. The first belonged to the Archaic
period and in the 5th century BC, it was moved to the east.
The stadium, where the athletes competed naked, has length
192 meters and 30 meters wide. According to the tradition,
Herakles himself measured the dimensions.