location title athens


Temple of Athena Nike

Adjacent to the Acropolis Propylaea on the right, stands a modest Ionic temple from the Classical Age, commissioned by the political leader Pericles in Athens. Constructed as part of the city's reconstruction initiative, the temple reached completion around 425 BC. During the Roman era, it was dedicated to Athena Nike Apterous, with Pausanias noting that the wooden statue of Athena within lacked wings to prevent it from flying away from Athens. The original wooden temple was destroyed by the Persians. The classical-era Temple of Athena Nike was amphiprostyle, featuring four monolithic columns on its east and west sides, and an altar for goddess sacrifice in front. Encircling the temple is a marble metal railing to ensure visitor safety. The temple's roof boasted bronze gilded capes adorned with winged victories and other mythological creatures. Its purpose was to venerate Athena Nike, the bestower of military victories, reflecting the prevailing optimism amid the conflict with Sparta. Inside the small nave, an enchanting statue of Athena stood, holding a pomegranate in one hand and her helmet in the other. This dual representation symbolized both the nature of war and the benefits of peace emerging from conflict. The sculptor Agorakritus crafted the bas-reliefs and pediments, depicting scenes of battling gods, heroes, giants, and Amazons, though much of these intricate details have unfortunately been lost to time.