Erechtheion, Acropolis, Athens

The Erechtheion or Erechtheum is an ancient Greek temple on the Acropolis of Athens which was dedicated to both Athena and Poseidon.

The temple was built between 421 and 406 BC. Its architect may have been Mnesicles, and it derived its name from a shrine dedicated to the legendary Greek hero Erichthonius. Some have suggested that it may have been built in honor of the legendary king Erechtheus, who is said to have been buried nearby. Erechtheus was mentioned in Homer’s Iliad as a great king and ruler of Athens during the Archaic Period.

The classical building has suffered its fair share of misfortune over the years. It has been damanged by fire, converted to a church, made into a palace and then also used as a harem as different dynasties took hold of Greece over the centuries. In 1833 CE systematic excavations began on the acropolis, and from 1836 until 1842 CE the Erechtheion was partially reconstructed. Further excavations and restorations were carried out in 1885 CE and throughout the late 20th century CE.


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