Temple of Athena Nike

Athens, Greece

The Temple of Athena Nike on the Acropolis of Athens was named after the Greek goddess. Built around 420 BCE, the temple is the earliest fully Ionic temple on the Acropolis. It was a prominent position on a steep bastion at the south west corner of the Acropolis to the right of the entrance, the Propylaea. In contrast to the Acropolis proper, a walled sanctuary entered through the Propylaea, the Victory Sanctuary was open, entered from the Propylaea's southwest wing and from a narrow stair on the north. The sheer walls of its bastion were protected on the north, west, and south by the Nike Parapet, named for its frieze of Nikai celebrating victory and sacrificing to their patroness, Athena Nike.

In the sixth century BCE a cult of Athena Nike was established and a small temple was built using Mycenaean fortification and Cyclopean masonry. After the temple was demolished by the Persians in 480 BCE a new temple was built over the remains. The new temple construction was underway in 449 BCE and was finished around 420 BCE.

The temple sat untouched until it was demolished in 1686 by the Turks who used the stones to build defences. In 1834 the temple was reconstructed after the independence of Greece. In 1998 the temple was dismantled so that the crumbling concrete floor could be replaced and its frieze was removed and placed in the new Acropolis Museum. The temple is often closed to visitors as work continues. The new museum exhibit consists of fragments of the site before the Persians were thought to have destroyed it in 480 BCE. Sculptures from the friezes have been salvaged such as: deeds of Hercules, statue of Moscophoros, a damaged sculpture of a goddess credited to Praxiteles and the Rampin horseman, as well as epigraphic dedications, decrees, and stelae.



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Acropolis, Athens, Greece
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Founded: 420 BCE
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Greece


4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Wai Qian Tham (9 months ago)
It's one of the earliest temples greeting you on the way to the Parthenon. Please give it more love! I wish we can enter and have a look tho...
Heather Raposa (12 months ago)
The whole Acropolis Complex is an experience of a lifetime. Remember the myth, experience the history and live in the moment. Smaller temple on the site but still impressive
L C (12 months ago)
The small temple on top of the bastion which since the Mycenaean period (late Eth cent Be guarded the southwest end of the hillot the Acropois. Was Geol- cated to the goddess Athena Nike, protector of the city who offered the Athenians victory in their battles. It is dated to the Classical period (427-424 B.C.) and belongs to the building programme of Perikles. A marble balustrade, which was decorated with representations in rellef of winged Nikai (Victories) and figures of seated Achena, was constructed later 45-405 b.c.), In order to protect the three sides al the and to detine the sanctuary of the goddess. The Classical temple was out site of an earlier small temple made by poros stone, dated after 468 B.C., which housed the xoanon, the wooden cult statue or the goddess. a considerable dart of this temple and remains of the early shrine ine oth cent. B.C.) are preserved in a speciall arranged basement space in the Classical bastion. The Classical temple, made of Pentelic marble, was built in the lonic order with four columns at the front and rear end, and measured 3.12 X 2.46 meters. It is at- tributed to the architect Kallikrates. The temples rich sculptural decoration praises the victorious battles of the Athenians. From the preserve architectural sculp hesi Is assumed that the Gigantomachy - battle between gods and giants- was presented on the east pediment, and the Amazonomachy - battle between Athen- ans and Amazons - on the west. The lonic frieze, which runs along the upper part of the temple depicts battles between Greeks and Persians (south side), battle of Greek warriors (hoplites) against other warriors (north and west side, while on east side the assembly (agora of the Olymplan gods. The corners of the pediments were decorated with gold-plated bronze Niki (acroteria). The monument was torn down during the Ottoman occupation in 1686, on the eve of the incursion into Attica of the Venetian troops under the command of general Francesco Morosini, and its architectural members were incorporated in the Das- tion constructed in front of the Propylaia. After the demolition of the bastion in 1835, the architectural members of the temple were recovered.
Karolina Bak (14 months ago)
A must see in Athens. I recommend buying tickets in advance as you can get a fantastic deal for €30 to see all the most important monuments. We visited during the last week of April so there was no cues or waiting time to enter however, I can imagine this being a case if you're visiting over the summer holidays as we still encountered a lot of tourists. 100% recommend to seeing this place with your own eyes - it is impressive and humbling to see places built by such an iconic, ancient civilization.
Mit Bhavsar (15 months ago)
Great place to visit. Ticket price 10 euro. Avoid visiting in rainy days as marble flooring is slippery.
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