Athena Nike - Temple of Victory Goddess

in Travel

Like China in Asia, Greece in Europe is considered as the ancient heritages. The capital Athens actually seems to be a worth-visiting destination for tourists worldwide. At the heart of Athens, people can discover lots of wonderful places such as Syntagma Square, Monastiraki Square, temple Parthenon, the Parliament Building, etc. It will be an insufficiency if you miss Temple of Athena Nike- the first Ionic structure built on the Acropolis.

 


Temple of Athena Nike is in Acropolis architectural complex, the most grandiose building area of Greece. Despite having a quite modest dimension, this temple plays a crucial role because it worships the Godness Athena Nike-the goddess of victory in hope of prosperous outcomes in the war\'s endeavors.

 

Legend of the Goddess Athena Nike


Athena Nike

Athena Nike

 


Nike – the goddess of victory – is called Victoria by the Romans. Victoria is described as the daughter of Pallas and Styx, and as the sister of Zelus (the God of zeal), Cratos (the God of strength) and Bia (the God of force). She is one of the strongest Gods in Greece. She resembles an angel with wings and carries a palm or a wreath. Nike is often depicted in ancient works of art, especially together with other divinities and with conquering heroes whose horses she rides.

 


The Goddess of Victoria

The Goddess of Victoria

 

When she appears with wings, she symbolizes that aspect of the mind that is sharp and, so to speak, swift-winged. Meanwhile, the helmet in her left hand symbolizes battle.

The temple Athena Nike


The temple was begun building at 427 BC and completed after 3 years. It is located at the southwest of the Acropolis plateau, right next to the Propylaia. Strategically, this position is built in a way that protects the south flank of the most vulnerable access point and gate to the citadel. Athena Nike comes to exist with the aim of expressing Athens’ ambitions to defeat Sparta and becomes the world power. The whole temple seems very special because of its material – white marble.

 


The temple of Athena Nike

The temple of Athena Nike

 


Originally, it was the place of worship for deities representing wars, Bronze Age “Nike” gods or goddesses. Excavations have showed an open pit which Bronze Age Greeks used to pour wine and to deposit primitive figurines of the deities worshiped.

 


Athena Nike temple features fours columns with colonnaded porticoes in the front and back. It dimensions is quite modest: 27 feet long, 18 1/2 feet wide and 23 feet tall.

Athena Nike temple features fours columns with colonnaded porticoes in the front and back. It dimensions is quite modest: 27 feet long, 18 1/2 feet wide and 23 feet tall.

 


The cult statue of Nike was made of wood, holding a helmet in her left hand, and a pomegranate in her right. This statue is wingless; therefore, it is said that Nike could never fly away from Athens.

 


The wooden statue of Athena Nike

The wooden statue of Athena Nike

 


Sculptural relieves in the temple

Sculptural relieves in the temple

 


The temple of Athena Nike is 11 feet in length from its base to the top. It has a decoration of sculptural relieves. Especially, the ratio of height to diameter of the columns is 7:1, and this dimension creates an elegance and refinement encountered in the normal 9:1 or 10:1 of Ionic buildings.

 


The temple in reconstruction process

The temple in reconstruction process

 

Despite being completed around 410 B.C, a parapet was added around the temple to prevent people from falling from the steep bastion. In the late 1930s, the whole bastion and the temple were dismantled so that structural problems could be mended and until 1940, it was reconstructed.

 

Related links:

A Guide to Athens

The Acropolis in Athens - a symbol in Greece

Experience Ancient Greece In Modern Athens

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Chris Elliott has 299 articles online and 5 fans

My favourite is traveling. I love to write about beautiful destinations and tourism events.

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This article was published on 2010/08/31