P e r g a m o n T e
m p l e
The Precinct of Athena:
Situated at the sacred place on the left
of the superior entry of the Acropolis; it is composed by the Propylaea,
the Stoa and the Temple of Athena, all surrounding the Sacred Square.
The Temple of Athena:
Built in the 3rd century B.C.E., this is
the oldest cult center of the city. The Doric order building was constructed
on a peripteral plan with six columns on the facade and ten on the long
sides. The krepis (the basement of the Temple) is formed by two steps and
measures 41.7 x 71.4 ft. (12.72 x 21.77 m). The naos or cella (the inner
sanctum) is divided in two and was dedicated to Goddess Athena but also
to God Zeus.
The foundations of the Sanctuary were linked
together by crepidoma of iron and wood. The traces of this crepidoma are
still visible. The Sanctuary of the Temple is built with the andesite of
the country. Earlier, the Sanctuary of the Temple was composed by a rock
located at the NorthEast, inclined to the South. It was by cutting these
rocks that the flat surface was obtained. This rectification was made at
the time of the founding of the Sacred Stoa. At a later period a partial
rectification was undertaken. The sanctuary, unreachable by the South,
is held by a wall of dressed blocks. At the West, which is the superior
part of the theater, is encircled by a long wall. At the head of that wall
is a way through the theater with 29 steps. This way between the Temple
and the theater was prepared for a few people.
Present state: Only some of the stepped foundations and
the tunnel to the theater have survived.
The entrance to the Sanctuary, made with
andesite, was done by the East side crossing the two-level Propylaea (monumental
entrance). In the facade, the first level had four Doric columns, and the
second level had four Ionic columns. The architrave that was placed between
the two levels held the following dedication: From King Eumenes to Athena
Nikephore, the Bearer of Victories. At the balcony on the second level
were displayed the weapons of the defeated Galates. The Propylaea and the
Stoa were built in commemoration of this victory.
Present state: The entrance gate has been reconstructed
at the Pergamon Museum in Berlin.
Crossing the Propylaea the two-level stoa
is reached. The Stoa, placed inside the sanctuary, is at the North-South
and East-West corner. The length of the North-South gallery is 131 ft.
(40 m) long and 17.7 ft. (5.4 m) wide. The first level has 17 Doric columns.
The length of the East-West gallery is 213 ft. (65 m) long and 32 ft. (10
m) wide. Two stairs lead to the first level of both galleries. The wall
of this gallery had niches for statues and reliefs from the sculptors Epigonos,
Phyromachios, Statonicos and Antigonos. The gallery's second level was
made with Ionic columns. The stone architrave, placed above the Ionic capitals,
were of the Doric order. This type of architecture was typical of Pergamon.
The internal surface of the walls of this gallery was covered with marble
plaques 5.9 ft. (1.8 m) high. Between the Ionic columns of the second level
, there was 42 panels with 3.2 ft. (1 m) high. These panels, facing the
Sanctuary, displayed the weapons of the defeated Galates.
At the sanctuary of Athena there were art
collections and the trophies taken to the Galates, at the time of their
defeat. More, as a sign of gratitude Attalus I (241-197 BCE) erected beside
the trophies a magnificent statue representing the Goddess Athena. His
son, Eumenes II (197-159 BCE), after defeating the Spartan tyrant Nabis,
erected a monument honoring the Goddess Athena Nikephore, the Bearer of
Victories, a statue with more then 19.6 ft. (6 m) high.
Behind the north stoa was housed Pergamon's
famous Library also built by Attalus I, which at its peak rivaled that
of Alexandria. The access to the West rooms of the Library was made by
the first stage of the North Stoa. Later kings commissioned a copy of the
great Phidias' Athena Parthenos to the Library.
Present state: Some column bases can be seen.
The Sacred Square:
The round base at the center of the Sacred
Square bore bronze statues. This round base was modified in Roman times.
Overall view of the remains of the Temple
of Athena, from the NorthWest.
capitals from the Temple of Athena.
Dowel holes and pouring channels for columns
at NW corner of the Temple of Athena.
Bedrock and remains of the West crepidoma
of the Temple of Athena, from the South.
clamps in the foundations for the Temple of Athena, from the South.
Overall view of the temenos, from NorthEast.
Overall view of the temenos, from SouthWest.
Overall view of the North
stoa of the temenos, from East and above.
View from the NW corner of the temenos toward SouthWest
and the Asklepieion.
base (3rd from West end of the interior row) in the North stoa of temenos.
base from the statue of Augustus set up in the temenos, from the NorthEast.
Stoa and water channel on NorthWest
side of the temenos, from the SouthWest.
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©1998-1999 Roy George