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Erechtheion from the southwest
The caryatids
Erechtheion from the northeast
Interior of the Erechtheion

The Erechtheion is a temple in the Ionic style on the Acropolis in Athens , which was built between 420 and 406 BC. Was built. The conception may go back to Perikles , who had already died when construction began. The architects (Phi) lokles of Acharnai and Archilochus of Agryle are considered to be the builders of the temple , under whose supervision the temple was built around 406 BC. Was completed.

The Erechtheion stands where originally the palace of the mythical King Erichthonios (Erechtheus I) is said to have been. The temple combined several old cults for a total of 13 deities and heroes in a complex architectural form. It contained the wooden cult image of the city goddess Athena , supposedly fallen from the sky , which was adorned every year on the festival of the Panathenaic Mountains . The building also comprised the crevice in which a serpent holy to Athena is said to have lived, the holy olive tree of the goddess, the salt spring ( Ερεχθηίς θάλασσα Erechtēís thálassa ), which Poseidon created in a competition with Athena, and the tomb of the mythical king Kekrops I.

The Erechtheion is best known for its vestibule, which is supported by six larger-than-life girl figures ( korai ) instead of columns . They were also known as caryatids ( named after the city of Karya in the Peloponnese , according to Vitruvius ); however, it is not certain who they represent. The caryatids are stylistically part of the Rich Style .

Throughout its history, the building has been used for various purposes, often damaging its original shape. In the 7th century it was converted into a Byzantine Christian church. In 1463 it was used as the harem of an officer in the Ottoman army. One of the six Koren was brought to Great Britain by Lord Elgin in 1811 and is now in the British Museum . The remaining five were replaced by replicas at the end of the 20th century to prevent further damage from the weather. The originals are on display in the Acropolis Museum .


  • Wilhelm Dörpfeld : Erechtheion . Drawings and editing by Hans Schleif. Mittler, Berlin 1942 ( online ).
  • Hans Lauter : The Koren des Erechtheion (= ancient sculpture. 16). Mann, Berlin 1976, ISBN 3-7861-2228-8 .
  • James Morton Paton (ed.), Gorham Phillips Stevens (measurements and drawings), Lacey Davis Caskey (text): The Erechtheum. Text and chalkboard. Harvard University Press, Cambridge Mass. 1927.
  • Andreas Scholl : The Korenhalle of the Erechtheion on the Acropolis. Women for the state. Fischer Taschenbuch-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1998, ISBN 3-596-12640-1 .

Web links

Commons : Erechtheion  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Coordinates: 37 ° 58 ′ 20 ″  N , 23 ° 43 ′ 35 ″  E