Notes on the Geography of Greece: The Acropolis: Photo 12
The Parthenon's west facade. The inner rank of 6 columns wraps a porch beyond which there was a windowless room, a treasury filled not with cash but with Persian daggers, thrones, couches, and shields. When the Parthenon became a church in the sixth century, this west side became the main entrance, and doors were opened in the wall separating the treasury from the image house to its east, which housed the famous statue of Athena but which now became a nave with an altar to the east. The cult room had measured 100 by 63 feet, and it had held Phidias's 32-foot image--wooden core, with ivory skin--of Athena Parthenos. (A full-size replica, as accurate as can be made today, has stood since 1990 in Tennessee's own Parthenon, built originally for the Tennessee Centennial Exposition of 1897.) Metal grates--functionally gates--originally blocked the spaces between the interior rows of columns on both the east and west sides. How often they were open is unknown, as is, oddly enough, even the original function of the building.
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