Greek architecture

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The continent and the islands of Greece are rocky, with heavily indented coastlines and rugged mountain ranges with few substantial forests. The most available building material is stone. Limestone was readily available and easy to work with. There is a large quantity of high quality white marble both on the mainland and on the islands, especially in Paros and Naxos. This fine grain material was an important factor that contributed to the precision of the architectural and sculptural details that adorned ancient Greek architecture. Deposits of high quality clay pottery were found throughout Greek Architecture Characteristics and the islands, with important deposits near Athens. It was used not only for ceramic vessels, but also for tiles and architectural decoration.

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The climate of Greece is maritime, with the coldness of winter and the summer heat tempered by the sea breeze. Therefore, the temples were placed on top of the hills, their exteriors were designed as a visual focus of meetings and processions, while the theaters were often an improvement of a natural slope site where people could sit, in place of a container structure. The colonnades that surrounded the buildings or the surrounding courtyards provided shelter from the sun and sudden winter storms.

The light is often extremely bright, with the sky and the sea vividly blue. The clear light and clear shadows give a precision to the details of the landscape, pale rocky outcrops and the seashore. This clarity alternates with periods of haze that vary in color from the light in it. In this characteristic environment, the ancient Greek architects built buildings that were marked by the precision of detail. The gleaming marble surfaces were smooth, curved, fluted or sculpted to reflect the sun, casting graduated shadows and changing color with the changing light of day.

Already in this period is created with a sense of proportion, symmetry and balance not apparent in similar ceramics of Crete and Mycenae. The decoration is precisely geometric and is ordered in order in areas in defined areas of each boat. These qualities were manifested not only through a millennium of Greek pottery, but also in the architecture that would emerge in the sixth century. The greatest development that occurred was the increasing use of the human figure as the main decorative motif, and the increasing security with which humanity was described, its mythology, its activities and its passions.

The development in the representation of the human form in ceramics was accompanied by a similar development in sculpture. The tiny stylized bronzes of the geometric period gave way to a highly formalized monolithic life-size representation in the archaic period. The classical period was marked by a rapid development towards idealized but increasingly real representations of gods in human form. This development had a direct effect on the sculptural decoration of the temples, since many of the greatest works of ancient Greek sculpture once adorned temples, and many of the largest statues recorded at the time, such as the lost Criselefantina statues of Zeus in the Temple. of Zeus in Olympia and Athena in the Parthenon, Athens, both more than 40 feet high, were once housed in them.

The religion of ancient Greece was a form of nature worship that emerged from the beliefs of previous cultures. However, unlike previous cultures, man was no longer perceived as threatened by nature, but as his sublime product. The natural elements were personified as gods in a completely human and very human behavior.

It was thought that the home of the gods was Olympus, the highest mountain in Greece. The most important deities were: Zeus, the supreme god and ruler of heaven; Hera, his wife and goddess of marriage; Athena, goddess of wisdom; Poseidon, god of the sea; Demeter, goddess of the earth; Apollo, god of the sun, law, reason, music and poetry; Artemis, goddess of the moon, hunting and the desert; Aphrodite, goddess of love; Ares, god of war; Hermes, god of commerce and medicine, and Hephaestus, god of fire and metal. Adoration, like many other activities, was done in the community, in the open field. However, in 600 BC, the gods were often represented by large statues and it was necessary to provide a building in which each of these could be housed. This led to the development of the temples.

His humanist philosophy put humanity at the center of things and promoted well-ordered societies and the development of democracy. At the same time, respect for the human intellect demanded reason and promoted a passion for research, logic, challenge and problem solving. The architecture of the ancient Greeks, and in particular, the architecture of the temple, responds to these challenges with a passion for beauty, and for the order and symmetry that is the product of a continuous search for perfection.