Ancient Greeks were masters of architecture and sculptor. The magnificent monuments that dot Greek history are awe-inspiring. The oldest Ancient Greek Monuments date back to 600 BC.Temples, columns, and theatres are some the best ancient Greek creations. Many of these monuments exist in ruins today, but some like the Parthenon is still mostly intact.
Most common feature among all Greek monuments is the rectangular temple. Every town in ancient Greece had an open-air theatre and a gymnasium which included club areas, baths, and spectator areas. Only male citizens were allowed here.
Some famous ancient Greek monuments
The most well known ancient Greece landmark is the Partheon in Athenian Acropolis and is also an heritage UNESCO site. It is the best example of the Athenian way of life in fifth century BC. It is regarded as one of the most significant archeological sites of the world. It was actually situated on the the citadel of the ancient city of Athens which was refered to as ‘the Holy Rock’.
The Parthenon is a majestic structure which stands in its originality from the original form although with some portions lost to time. The statues of Erechtheion on the other hand have been installed in modern times trying to replicate the original ones with five of the female figures being restored in recent times.
It is one of the most famous ancient Greece monuments. This is a temple in the honor of Greek virgin patron and goddess, Athena. Located on the Athena acropolis, it was built when the empire was at its peak of glory. This temple was build in place of an ancient temple named Athena.
The temples in ancient Greece were not used as places of worship but as a treasury. It served as the treasury of the Athenian empire. Later it was converted into a church of Virgin Mary. It was also used as a mosque after the Ottoman conquest.The temple was severely damaged when the Ottoman ammunition had in it was ignited by Venetian bombarding.
Another of the important ancient Greek landmarks is Olympia which is still revered as the home of the ancient Olympic Games which were held here in 776 BC. It includes the building at the west where the legendary sculptor Pheidias worked. Then there are the original stadium and the place where the Olympic races were run.
It was a religious sanctuary dedicated to Zeus and it still consist of the ruins of many structures including a temple of Zeus and also famous Hermes of Praxiteles and a statue of Nike of Paionios.
Built by famous Trophonios and Agamedes and is one of the most visited sites in Greece is Delphi which was the home of the major oracle known as Pythia, that was consulted by people across ancient Greece. Because of this, it commanded a position of power in the country. In later years, Delphi came to be known as an area of neutrality. It became a center of the intercity diplomatic relationship. It includes the treasury of the Athenians and the temple of Apollo.
it was considered to be the center of the world by the ancient Greeks and had been marked by a stone monument called omphalos. It also consists of monuments built by almost every city state showing its importance in Ancient Greek world.
Mycenae is the seat of King Agamemnon who led the Trojan War. This site is rich in relicts as befits a city which dominated all the other city states surrounding it. The city has very thick walls. The museum holds many rich archeological finds including many grave goods that bear testimony to fine craftsmanship. The gold death masks are especially remarkable.
This site was probably built around 1350 to 1200 BC and reached its peak during the Mycenaean civilization. It was probably used as a military base in southern Greece from which they dominated all of southern Greece, Crete and the Cyclades. It consists of important monuments like the Lion Gate, chamber tombs and also ruins of a palace.
Temple of Athena
Often referred to as the temple of wingless victory, the temple honors the wingless Victory as a form of Athena. It was built in 5th century BC. It is located at the southwest corner of Acropolis and to the right of Propylaea.
Made of Pentelic marble this temple is iconic in itself. It is believed that the architect of this temple was Callicrates. The temple has four columns in the front and four in the back.The temple displays scenes from battle and some ancient Greek gods. The temple is no longer in good shape and was recycled by the Turkish government.
The temple of Zeus
The temple of Zeus stands today in ruins with only 15 out of 104 columns remaining. But it is one of the finest monuments not only in Athens but also in entire Greece. It is situated at the centre of the city, being built in the year 131 CE, although its construction dates to around 174 BC. It was built in honour of the king of Greek gods, Zeus.
Stoa of Attalos
The Stoa of Attalos was an architectural marvel built in the Hellenistic period as a gift to Athens. It measures about 377 by 600 feet and is built of Pantelic marble and limestone.
The Doric order is used on the exterior colonnades of the ground floor while mixing it with the Ionic style on the interior. It comprises 21 rooms on each story lining up the western wall along with two corridors. The modern monument was reconstructed in the 20th century as the original had been destroyed in the 3rd century.
The Palace of Knossos
The palace of Knossos from the ancient city of Crete is another famous historical site located in the modern city of Heraklion. This palace was the heart of the Minion civilization and the city of Knossos was its capital.
The palace we can still see today consists of living spaces which are evidently royal with their beautiful frescoes and mosaics. It consists of toilets, bathrooms and even a drainage system. Public buildings, workshops and cult spaces are present in this area with many store rooms which were used for storing olive oils, grains and wine.
The site was abandoned around 1375 BC before being excavated by a British archaeologist, Arthur Evans in 1900 who also retired many parts of this palace.
Temple of Hephaestus
The temple of Hephaestus is a brilliant mixture of Doric and classical architecture and it still stands today even after being built around 415 BC even before the Parthenon. It was a temple dedicated to Hephaestus, the God of metalworking and crafting. It was made of Parian and Pentelic marble and has six columns in an east to west direction and thirteen columns in a north to south direction.
The temple known as the Erechtheion is a great piece of architecture by the great architect Mnesicles and is situated in the Acropolis of Athens. It had carved doorways and also decorated columns making it a very beautiful monument.
Odeon of Herodes Atticus
The Odeon of Herodes Atticus is another magnificent structure in the Acropolis which was a steep-sided theatre situated on the southwest slope of Acropolis, made of stone with a wooden roof.
The Theater of Epidaurus
Theatre of Dionysus
It is the largest open-air theatre in ancient Greece and is located in Athens. Its remains are well preserved until today. It was mostly used in festivals. Worshipping of Dionysus was held here.The theatre has a central stage and 67 marble thrones around it.
Even the names of dignitaries who occupied them are inscribed on these thrones. Many dramatic festivals were held here in honor of Dionysus who was the god of wine and a patron of drama.
This was the place where the ancient Greeks practiced wrestling and boxing. It was attached to a gymnasium but also had the independent existence. This monument is a rectangular structure with columns and rooms at its sides.
These rooms were used for bathing, storing clothes, undressing, storage of athletic equipment, oils etc.The Ancient Greek Monuments are indeed images of elegance and depict the skill and intelligence that the people they had.