Classical Greek Architecture - Ancient Greece for Kids

Classical Greek Architecture

parthenon
Parthenon, Athens

There is no really sharp change in the style of architecture between the Archaic and the Classical periods. One blends gradually into the other. For no particular reason, we actually have more archaic temples that survive than we do classical temples. The most famous surviving classical temple is the Parthenon in Athens, which mixes the Doric and the new Ionic styles.

Parthenon

The Parthenon, a temple to Athena Parthenos, or Athena the Pure, was built in Athens in the 440s BC, using money from the Delian League's treasury. It was meant to be the best temple ever built, and so it was made entirely out of marble (even the roof-tiles!), and with eight columns across the front instead of six, and with carved sculptures on the metopes. To make the Parthenon look even more like it was reaching for the sky, the architects curved many of its lines upwards in the middle.

Also in the Classical period, the Greeks began to build permanent stone theaters, like the Theater of Dionysos on the side of the Acropolis in Athens (right near the Parthenon).

theater of dionysos

To find out more about classical Greek architecture, check out these books at Amazon or at your library:

Make This Model Greek Temple (Usborne Cut-Out Models Series), by Iain Ashman (1998)

An Ancient Greek Temple, by John Malam, Mark Bergin (2001)

Greek Art and Archaeology (3rd Edition), by John G. Pedley (2002) This is NOT a children's book, but it has a lot of good information and is pretty readable. Plus, the author is really an expert in this field.

The Archaeology of Greece: An Introduction, by William R. Biers (1996) Like Pedley's book, this is NOT a children's book, but Biers writes very clearly and has a lot of good pictures.

Hellenistic architecture
Greek architecture
Ancient Greece
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by Professor K.E. Carr, Portland State University
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