As one of the cradles of civilization, Athens is home to many ancient and neoclassical architectures. These buildings bear the traces of classical Greece as well. Some of them are joined with contemporary design and modernist touches.
Buildings in Greece are fascinating without a doubt. Especially, buildings in Athens have witnessed the Classical, Hellenistic, and Roman periods. In addition, it has experienced the modern and postmodern periods as well. This is why the city has a rich history.
Let’s get to find these famous buildings in Athens below.
Parthenon is a temple dedicated to Athena, which takes place on top of Acropolis. The architects of this temple were Iktinos and Callicrates. It dates back to 447-432 BC. It’s also the symbol of Athens’ Golden Age.
The temple is a great example of the Doric order. The sculptor Phidias formed the sculptures of this temple. The curves also made Parthenon look as much perfect as it can be.
The Acropolis Museum
Built in 2009, the museum is a work of art by the architect Bernard Tschumi. Across the Acropolis, The Acropolis Museum is located in the Makryianni district. The museum is built on the ruins. This is why there are more than 100 concrete pillars to support the building.
The building gets lots of light inside due to the glass walls on the top floors. Through these glass walls, one can enjoy the views of Athens and Acropolis from inside. The entrance of the museum also has a floor of glass.
Temple of Hephaestus
Another example of Doric temple is the Temple of Hephaestus built between 450-415 BC. It was built in honor of the god Hephaestus. The architect of this temple is assumed as Iktinos.
It stands on a hill on top of the Ancient Agora. You’ll be surprised when you see the perfect condition of this temple. You can also find traces of Ancient Greek architecture. Through the years, it has experienced several uses such as being a Christian church and a museum.
The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre
Designed by Renzo Piano, the cultural center was built in 2016. It provides a 1400-seat opera auditorium and a 400-seat theatre. There is an artificial lake and a park surrounding the building.
There’s also an artificial slope where the glass cubes take place on top. A covered terrace is also available on the top floor as well. One can enjoy the view of the sea and the Acropolis from here.
It’s also important to note that sustainability was a big consideration during the building process. Energy efficiency is the number one rule in this building. Every system in the building serves this purpose. The use of natural light is only one of them. Mediterranean plants are available on the roofs as well, for insulation. Seawater and rainwater are also used and harvested here.
The Stoa of Attalos
Another famous building in Greece is The Stoa of Attalos. Located in the ancient Agora, The Stoa of Attalos serves like a museum. Built between 1952 and 1956, the building’s architects were W. Stuart Thompson & Phelps Barnum. Its reconstruction was commissioned by the American School of Classical Studies of Athens. The original Stoa of Attalos, however, was built by King Attalos II of Pergamon. He reigned from 159 BC to 138 BC.
It was the king’s gift to the city of Athens as thanks to the philosopher Carneades for the education.
The Neoclassical Trilogy of Athens: The National Library, The Panepistimiou, and The Academy
The very famous buildings in Athens, these three are the neoclassical buildings located in the city center, on Panepistimiou Street. They include touches from different periods like the Renaissance and the Roman. They were built in the 19th century by the architects Christian Hansen, Theophil Hansen, and Ernst Ziller.
The central building is the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. Among these three, it was the first one to be designed. The outside of the building bears traces and details about King Otto. Then comes the Academy of Athens planned by Theophil Hansen. Then, Ernst Ziller completed it after him.
On the left side, there’s the National Library of Greece. It was also designed by Theophil Hansen and began to be built in 1888.
The Iliou Melathron; The Numismatic Museum of Athens
This one is also designed by Erns Ziller who was a student of Theophil Hansen. Its construction lasted between the years 1878 and 1880. It was built for Heinrich Schliemann who discovered Troy and excavated Mycenae.
On this building, you can see the styles of Neoclassicism and Renaissance Revival. Inside of the building demonstrated Ancient Greek architecture inscriptions as well as reminders of the Trojan War. Finally, you can see the findings of Schlieman on the mosaic floors.
The Greek Parliament
Formerly known as the Royal Palace, the Greek Parliament was designed by the architect Friedrich von Gärtner. It was the Greek royal family’s residence when it was built in 1842, after the establishment of the monarchy. The building takes place on the north of Syntagma Square. It has three floors and was converted into the Greek Parliament in 1929. It bears traces of Neoclassicism.
Ancient Greek architecture is enough to blow the minds. They have so much history and culture both inside and outside. We hope you enjoyed our article about famous buildings in Athens.