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Temple of Athena

temple of athenaSome of the Ionic columns have been re-erected, so that it is now possible to view the temple from a distance. It was built between the 4th and 2nd centuries B. C. The plan was designed by the famous architect Pythos, who was also responsible for the Mhusoleum of Halicarnassus, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It contained a cult statue of the goddess Athena 7 m in height, of which a few marble fragments have been found. It would appear to have been a copy of the statue of Athena in the Parthenon. The temple was presented to the city by the Cappadocian prince Orophernes. It is a peripteral temple with eleven columns on each of the long sides and six columns on each of the shorter. There is also an opisthodomos with two columns. Local marble was employed in the construction. In frpnt of the east side are to be found the foundations of an altar. This was adorned with very fine reliefs of gods and giants now exhibited in the Istanbul Archaeological Museum.

The altar and the courtyard surrounding it date from the 2nd century B.c. A little further on stands a propylon or monumental gateway with four columns in front and rear dating from the 1st century B. C. The nineteen pedestals on the southern part of the terrace must have supported statues of the gods. Below this lies a stoa with thirty-two columns.

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