The Erechteion is the most sacred temple of all temples of Athens.
The true name was the temple of Athena Polias. The whole building presents
a complex architecture due to the irregularity of the ground. It is composed
of a rectangular cella, divided in two sanctuaries built on different levels,
and flanked by three unequal porticoes. In the foreground is the high north portico
made of 4 ionic columns, and which was one of the masterpieces of the attic art (8
In the middle is the west part of the temple, which was longer and on a 3 meters higher level. (6
It is the sanctuary of Erechteus, and one could access to it through the north portico.
The Erechteion shown on this picture presents its eastern façade,
that of the cella of Athena Polias, preceded by a pronaos and doric columns.
Next to this façade, you can notice the pit in the foreground :
this is the location of the Altar of Athena Polias, with its small temple.
There as well grew the
that Athena let surge up by a stroke of her spear.
The western part of the building is the one dedicated to Poseidon-Erechteus.
At last, the south portico or portico of the Caryatids (7
might be a kind of gallery or a loggia. You can see there the six famous statues
of young women with their long ionian dresses, standing there as columns. They are four on the façade and one on each side.