|his is a small, elegant Ionian monument built on a bastion on the southwest side of the rock of the Acropolis. The temple must have been built between 427-424 BC and Kallikrates is mentioned as its architect. Excavations have brought to light, on the same site, building elements from the Mycenaean period.|
That is when the powerful bastion must have been built. Later, during Archaic times, that is, during the period of Peisistratides, a very small temple was erected on the Mycenaean fortification, dedicated to the worship of Athena. The Persians destroyed them in 480 BC, but the space was included in building program and later the bastion was completed and dressed with poros limestone thus becoming the tower we see today.
The Ionian temple, made entirely of pentelic marble which was erected on a podium, magnifies the unaffected grandeur of the sacred rock and gives a different spirit to the entire cluster of monuments.
It is a monument of small dimensions, amphiprostyle and four-pillared. It has monolithic columns with relatively low proportions and high bases with a large scotia. The eastern side of the nave was divided into pilasters and two pillars and the openings were enclosed with railings.
The religious statue of the Nike, with its cut-off wings, was housed in the nave, which was fashioned into a crypt by three steps. That is why Pausanias said in the 2nd century AD that the temple was dedicated to the Wingless Victory (Nike=Victory).
|The sculptural decoration of the monument was of particular note. The frieze that went round the temple on all four sides depicted the following subjects: on the East Side there was the assembly of the Gods of Olympus with Zeus and Poseidon on either side of Athena and on the other sides were depicted battles of the Greeks against the Barbarians. The built-in sculptures as well as the gilded bronze acrotiria have been lost.|
|round 410 BC the tower was enclosed with a parapet on the top on the south, west and north sides. The marble plaques of the parapet are of great artistic value containing exceptional bas-reliefs which depict Nikes and a repetition of the image of the seated Athena. Important fragments of these marble plaques have survived. Both the figures on the frieze and the figures on the parapet are superb examples of the mature so-called "rich" style.|
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Photos and informations taken from "Athens - Attica"
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