Greece-0121 - The Caryatids
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The Caryatids on the south porch of the Erechtheion (420 BC), Athens, Greece
It was built in 420 BC in the Ionic style. The famous porch of the Caryatids has statues that have been replaced with marble casts. The Erechtheion owes its name to Erechtheus who was a local hero and legendary king of Athens. The main temple was divided into two sections, dedicated to the worship of two main gods of Attica, Athena and Poseidon. A relief frieze bearing a representation possibly of the birth of Erechtheus, decorated the exterior of the building. It is one of the most highly decorative and original creations in all of Greece. Constructed in order to replace the ancient temple of Athena, it was started during the Peace of Nikias in 420 BC, but work was interrupted when hostilities started between Athens and Sparta. It was finally completed in 400 BC, the unusual construction of the Erechtheion reflects the many shrines located here which were preserved over the centuries.