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Architect Mnesicles
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Location Athens, Greece   map
Date -421 to -405   timeline
Building Type temple
 Construction System bearing masonry - cut stone
Climate mediterranean
Context hilltop, temple complex
Style Ancient Greek, Ionic
Notes has Caryatid Porch with figural columns. On the Acropolis. uses grade change.


Photo, exterior, the Caryatid Porch

Photo, exterior

Photo, exterior



Detail Drawing


Elevation Drawing

Plan Drawing

Plan Drawing

Section Drawing

Elevation Drawing



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Discussion Erectheion Commentary

"The most exceptional Ionic building on the Acropolis is the enigmatic 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."

— Marvin Trachtenberg and Isabelle Hyman. Architecture: from Prehistory to Post-Modernism. p94.


Located on the right side of the entrance to the Acropolis.

Sources on Erectheion

Francis D. K. Ching. Architecture: Form, Space, and Order. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1979. ISBN 0-442-21535-5. LC 79-18045. NA2760.C46. perspective drawing, p27. — A nice graphic introduction to architectural ideas. Updated 1996 edition available at

Sir Banister Fletcher. A History of Architecture. London: The Butterworth Group, 1987. ISBN 0-408-01587-X. LC 86-31761. NA200.F63 1987. section drawing, fig d, p117. elevation drawing of north porch, fig g, p117.   Expanded 1996 edition, available from

G. E. Kidder Smith. Looking at Architecture. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Publishers, 1990. ISBN 0-8109-3556-2. overview photo, p20, among columns, p21. — Available at

A.W. Lawrence. Greek Architecture. Baltimore: Penguin Books, 1967. photo of west end and north porch from within, plate 69. (spelled "Erechtheum")

A. W. Lawrence. Greek Architecture. New York: Penguin Books, 1983. ISBN 0-14-0560.11-4. LC 82-21397. NA270.L36 1983. north porch doorway elevation detail drawing, f196, p221. Middleton, Plans and Drawings of Athenian Buildings. west elevation drawing, f195, p219. Stevens and Paton, The Erectheum, Atlas of Plates, plate XIII. east elevation drawing, f195, p219. Stevens and Paton, The Erectheum, Atlas of Plates, plate XIII.

D. S. Robertson. Greek and Roman Architecture. New York: Sydics of the Cambridge University Press, 1969. ISBN 521-06104-0. NA260.R6 1969. restored north porch perspective drawing, f56, p131. G.P. Stevens and J.M. Paton, The Erectheum, Cambridge, MA, 1927, Pl. XXIV.

Russell Sturgis. The Architecture Sourcebook. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1984. ISBN 0-442-20831-9. LC 84-7275. NA2840.S78. plan drawing, p342. [JE]

Kevin Matthews. The Great Buildings Collection on CD-ROM. Artifice, 2001. ISBN 0-9667098-4-5.— Available at  Find books about Erectheion


Web Resources
Links on Erectheion

HELLAS:NET - Acropolis

Erectheion at ArchiplanetFind, add, and edit info at the all-buildings collaboration

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