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Ancient Greece

Architecture

History >> Ancient Greece

The Ancient Greeks had a unique style of architecture that is still copied today in government buildings and major monuments throughout the world. Greek architecture is known for tall columns, intricate detail, symmetry, harmony, and balance. The Greeks built all sorts of buildings. The main examples of Greek architecture that survive today are the large temples that they built to their gods.

Greek Columns

The Greeks built most of their temples and government buildings in three types of styles :Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian. These styles (also called "orders") were reflected in the type of columns they used. Most all of the columns had grooves down the sides called fluting. This gave the columns a feeling of depth and balance.
Drawings of the three Greek orders
Greek Orders by Pearson Scott Foremen
Temples

Greek temples were grand buildings with a fairly simple design. The outside was surrounded by a row of columns. Above the columns was a decorative panel of sculpture called the frieze. Above the frieze was a triangle shaped area with more sculptures called the pediment. Inside the temple was an inner chamber that housed the statue of the god or goddess of the temple.

Picture of the Parthenon from the west
The Parthenon
Source: Wikimedia Commons
The most famous temple of Ancient Greece is the Parthenon located on the Acropolis in the city of Athens. It was built for the goddess Athena. The Parthenon was built in the Doric style of architecture. It had 46 outer columns each 6 feet in diameter and 34 feet tall. The inner chamber contained a large gold and ivory statue of Athena.

Other Buildings

Besides temples, the Greeks built numerous other types public buildings and structures. They built large theaters that could hold over 10,000 people. The theaters were usually built into the side of a hill and were designed with acoustics that allowed even the back rows to hear the actors. They also built covered walkways called "stoas" where merchants would sell goods and people held public meetings. Other public buildings included the gymnasium, court house, council building, and sports stadium.

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For more about Ancient Greece:

Overview
Timeline of Ancient Greece
Geography
The City of Athens
Sparta
Minoans and Mycenaeans
Greek City-states
Peloponnesian War
Persian Wars
Decline and Fall
Legacy of Ancient Greece
Glossary and Terms

Arts and Culture
Ancient Greek Art
Drama and Theater
Architecture
Olympic Games
Government of Ancient Greece
Greek Alphabet

Daily Life
Daily Lives of the Ancient Greeks
Typical Greek Town
Food
Clothing
Women in Greece
Science and Technology
Soldiers and War
Slaves

People
Alexander the Great
Archimedes
Aristotle
Pericles
Plato
Socrates
25 Famous Greek People
Greek Philosophers

Greek Mythology
Greek Gods and Mythology
Hercules
Achilles
Monsters of Greek Mythology
The Titans
The Iliad
The Odyssey

The Olympian Gods
Zeus
Hera
Poseidon
Apollo
Artemis
Hermes
Athena
Ares
Aphrodite
Hephaestus
Demeter
Hestia
Dionysus
Hades

Works Cited

History >> Ancient Greece






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