Q: What is the Parthenon?
A: It is the Doric temple of Athena on the Acropolis in Athens.
Q: What is the Greek Doric style?
A: You can tell a Greek Doric column apart from other Greek column styles (Ionic, Corinthian) with relative ease. The Doric style is the simplest of the columns in terms of fancy work.
Q: Do the Parthenon Doric columns feature entasis?
A: Yes, they do. Entasis is an aesthetic applied to columns to make them fatter at the bottom than at the top. It is thought to correct the optical illusion of concavity. It also makes the columns look more grand, sturdy, and as a structural bonus, makes the column stronger.
Q: What are metopes?
A: Metopes are the rectangular spaces between two triglyphs. They are decorated with carvings at the Parthenon.
Q: Would you explain what a triglyph is?
A: They are the decorated vertically channeled tablets on either side of a metope. They look like the Roman numeral III.
Q: Where is the architrave on the Parthenon?
A: The architrave is 1 part of the entablature. It supports the frieze from column to column.
Q: Where is the entablature?
A: The entablature is the superstructure of architectural elements above the columns. It consists of the architrave, the frieze, and the cornice.
Q: So the pediments are on top of the columns?
A: Yes, and on top of the architrave. They are the triangle wedges, which unfortunately at the Parthenon were damaged. Many of the sculptures from the frieze are in the Athens Museum or among the Elgin Marbles collection.
Q: What are the friezes?
A: A frieze is an unmolded strip that may or may not be ornamented and is part of the entablature. The Parthenon frieze is the low relief, marble sculpture created to adorn the upper part of the entablature.
Q: Where is the cornice on the entablature?
A: The cornice is the decorative molding around the pediment.
Q: What building is the Erechtheum?
A: It is a temple dedicated to the Greek hero Erichthonius.
Q: What is the Propylaea?
A: The Propylaea is any monumental gateway. The original Propylaea is the entrance to the Acropolis in Athens. It means “before the gates.” We use it now to mean a gate building.
Q: Where is the Porch of the Caryatids?
A: The “Porch of the Maidens” is on the Acropolis. You can find it at the Erechtheum. It features six draped female figures known as caryatids.
Q: What are Caryatids?
A: A Caryatid is a sculpted female figure that provides the architectural support of a column. It can hold the weight of an entablature.