|he Propylaia were constructed by Mnesikles upon completion of the Parthenon, in 437 BC, and their axis and proportions aligned to balance the temple. In order to offset the difficulties produced by the sloping site Mnesikles combined for the first time standard Doric columns with the taller and more delicate Ionian order. The entire structure was made up of a central rectangular space of large dimensions, amphiprostyle with six Doric columns on the East Side and the west side. This main section was to be framed by four large halls arranged symmetrically by twos.|
Two Ionic colonnades were placed in its interior, at right angles to the colonnade of the facade, for the support of the roof which thus created three aisles, the narrowest in the middle. The eastern part of the structure, following the natural formation of the land, was built at a higher level. The communication between the eastern and the western areas was accomplished by five successive entrances closed by heavy wooden doors. The difference in height was dealt with by use of a separate roof.
f the four chambers in the two wings of the Propylaia only the one on the north wing of the West Side was fully completed.
It was pillared with three Doric columns set between pilasters and the entrance openings were deliberately symmetrical. Left and right were windows placed at irregular intervals.
|Originally it must have been used as a place for visitors to wait and rest with couches placed around its circumference. It is known as the "Art Gallery" because according to Pausanias it was used for the exhibition of paintings. In the south wing, and corresponding to the Gallery, there was another small room whose construction was dictated by reasons of aesthetics and the harmony of the whole.|
|t was also pillared with three Doric columns between the pilasters which together with those opposite them formed an enclosed reception space which was used as the main entrance. But this room, oddly enough, was never completed, probably for reasons of religious expediency.|
Its extension further south would have meant the blocking off the parts of the Mycenaean Pelasgian walls as well as the tower with the temple of the Wingless Nike. The Propylaia were not completed because of the Peloponnesian wars which broke out in 431 BC. But the faultless morphological solutions that were found and the relationships of the proportions used in Mnesikles design made for one of the most important monuments.
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The South Slope
Photos and informations taken from "Athens - Attica"
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