Photographer's Note

The Hephaestus and Athena Ergane temple, also known under the name of Hephaesteum, is a Doric temple peripteros, located northwest of the Agora of Athens, on top of the hill called Colonos Agoraios. The seventh century until 1834, it served as the Greek Orthodox church under the name of St. George Akamatčs.

After the battle of Plataea, the Greeks had vowed never to rebuild their sanctuaries destroyed by the Persians during the invasion of Greece, but to leave them in ruins, as a perpetual reminder of the barbaric ferocity. The Athenians concentrated their efforts on rebuilding their economies and strengthen their influence in the Delian League. When Pericles came to power, he conceived a vast project to Athens a great center of Greek power and culture. The temple of Hephaestus overlooking the Agora was meant to demonstrate the richness of the Athenian tradition, as evidenced by the use of the Doric and the whole of the metopes and carved figures.

The construction of the temple began in -449, but it was not completed before -415, probably because the focus was at the same time on the construction of the Acropolis monuments. The western frieze was completed between -445 and -440, while the eastern frieze, the west pediment and several changes inside the building are dated from -435 to -430. It is only when the peace of Nicias, of -421 to -415, the roof was finally raised and cult statues installed. The temple was officially opened in -416 / -415.

The name of the architect is not known. The material used is Pentelic marble, except for the first step of which is krépidoma limestone and decorative sculptures for which was chosen the most valuable Parian marble. The dimensions of the temple are 13.708 m north to south and 31.776 m east to west, with six columns east and west sides and thirteen columns in length north and south.

The building has a pronaos, a principal part of the worship of images of deities (shrine) and a opisthodomos. The alignment of the pronaos antes on the third side column of the peristyle is a unique feature for a temple of the mid-fifth century BC. JC. There is also an inner Doric colonnade with five columns on the north and south sides, and three ends.



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Additional Photos by Jean Philippe TUR (tenretin) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 244 W: 7 N: 416] (3130)
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