The Greek Architecture

The Greek Architecture is the source of calssicism such as at Acropolis and Agora. All cultures copied their architectural informations by generations. However Greek classical architecture is a variety of cultures and obtaning nearly universal acceptance. The Greek Architecture was linked to society’s religious and their political system like all other cultures. They used the architecture as a representation of political systems which were two contradictory political ideas, the equalitarianism of Greek democracy and the authoritarian order of Hellenistic. The Ancient Greek democracy related with their city which called polis, root of word came from politeía πολιτεία which means order of country. This system was the root of democracy political idea because in this system political decisions and justice issues became consensual so this system was working like democratic process of rule. That’s why they needed to open space area for this debate’s, the new style of architecture used that need to create suitable spaces for exchanges of opinions such as theaters, senate houses even Greek temple. The most interesting example was about Alexander The Great. He wanted to unite the world into a single empire which used as campaign materail. ”He relied on the classical architecture of the polis as an agnet of his civilizing mission.”


The Greek had different attitude of other cultures. They did not build great temples, tombs or hiearchical temples for the aim of showing power like Egypt and Persia, they built open public spaces for citizien meetings like Agora. With the movement of Synoikismos which means ”living together”, they did revive their cities in that manner. So, requiremen for this manner, they built open public space and accessible(visually and physically) public buildings The Greek civizilation had 700 city state with mainland and surronding islands. Those city-state did not assimilate each other also they did not act like a one single city but they shared Greek language and religious beliefs. In the  battle times suuch as during The Persian invasions of the fifth century. City-states went to under control of a one single empire. Also geographic properties helped them for defend issue (a jagged coastline, hilly interior)  and additionally not easy to conquer hundreds of small islands. They had limited agriculture products because of the lack of arable. Main economy depends on maritime trade and shipbuilding.

The evolution of classical architecture began with 9th century because they wanted to establish colonies on Turkey, Italy and Sicily. Those experience of urban centers helped them to improve their architecture skills. There was a development in greater scale in methods of orthogonal planning and experimented with diversified class structures.

Acropolis is the most powerful city in the Aegean and the most influential models of Greek Architecture and urbanism. In 8th century with movement of synoikimos, The Acropolis lost power to Agora. Aristotle explained that ” Acropolis is suitable for oligarchy and monarchy, level ground for democracy.” The Acropolis was home for the gods rather than place for citiziens but Agora had opposite attitude.

the-agoraThe Agora was a central spot in the city states. Agora literally mens ”gathering” so they used as the prime open public space. Instead of created large spaces in front of temples, Greek Agora had indeterminate void in the middle of the city. Agora served as city’s space for informations because they needed some space like this. Also democracy level was top poin at that age such an equal community, administered by elected magistrates but of course there were some rules for citiziens such as obeying the military and religious obligations. The Persian ruler, Kİng Cyrus had different opinion about Agora. He said that ”I never feared the kind of man who have a palace set aside in the middle of city where they get together to tell one another lies under oath.” However, unlike King Cyrus, the open spaces of Greek’s proved more interactive than the cult space of Processional way in Babylon. But eventually, the Athenians left their Agora loosely defined to facilitate the dialogues of participatory democracy. So, The Agora lost their function somehow.


The Agora was main function gathering so served as market, religious ceremonies, athletic events and earliest theatrical performances. There was festival honor of the wine, Dionysus, Agora had been used for this activity with using temporarily  wooden bleachers. The theater at Epidauros was built mid 4th century BCE. (It is still living) They designed as the half bowl shape and also fits into the lay of land and, allows the audience to connect to the surronding landspace. Additionally there was 6000 seats for spectators.

The monument of the Eponymous Heroes was also related with political ideas which the heroes of Athens who gave their names to the polis’s ten political groups. There were ten statues depicting the those heroes. The member of each political group attached messages under the statue that represented their ideology. It was one of the examples the combination  of policy and architecture.

If there was new function that requires new building such as the administration buildings, senate house which was box-like structural system with colonades and served as protected meeting space. In the same manner of requirement Miletus was known among the Greeks as the birth place of geometry, used grid forrequirement of expansion. Between the grids where there were natural changes in the topography. Also planners used the proportion generated by the grid system.


Priene, another colony on the lonian coast and more integrated plan. Also Priene planners used the grid system. Miletus and Priene conceived of the entire urban territory as a rational form.


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