Ancient greek buildings for kids

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The first evidence of settlement in Greece came from 55,000 B.C., or 57,000 years ago. Around 2000 B.C., invaders from Asia and China came to Greece, bringing bronze, the potting wheel and Greek language. These invaders sailed around the world, bringing back ideas like building palaces and tombs. In 146 B.C., Greece became part of the Roman Empire but many palaces and tombs still stand in Greece, reminding visitors of Greece's ancient culture.


The Portara is called the "Great Door" and is a marble doorway that leads to nowhere. It it located on Naxos Lsland and was intended to be a part of a massive temple planned by Naxos Island's tyrannical ruler Lygdamis in 530 B.C. However, when war broke out between Naxos and a neighbouring island, construction halted. Lygdamis was overthrown in 506 B.C., and the temple was never completed.

During the middle ages, a church was built behind the portara, but this church was dismantled so that the marble it was made of could go to other buildings. The portara, however, was too massive and heavy to be dismantled, so it stands with little damage today.

The Acropolis

In Greece, Acropolis means "the high city." There are many acropolises in Greece but the most popular is the Acropolis of Athens, which is known as "The Acropolis." This acropolis was dedicated to Athena, the goddess of wisdom in Greek mythology, and is situated directly in the middle of Athens, a Greek city, on a plateau.

Chief sacred buildings were built in and around The Acropolis around 430 to 460 B.C., during the Golden Age of Athens. However, as Christianity was introduced into the region, these buildings were converted into churches. Also, under Frankish and Turkish rule the structures became residencies and headquarters. Wars, invasions and attacks over time contributed to degradation of some of the buildings, such as the Parthenon.


The Athenian leader Pericles initiated the Parthenon's construction, which was built between 447 and 432 B.C. in the Acropolis. The building housed a statue of the goddess Athena, which was made of gold and ivory. However, over the years, it was significantly damaged and altered. For instance, the gold from the statue was used by tyrannical leader Lachares to pay for the army, the temple was converted into a church and a mosque in, and in 1801, the central area was damaged by the Turks, who ruled Greece during that time.

Temple of Olympian Zeus

The building of this temple started in 6th century B.C. by Peisistratos. but either the lack of money or the overthrowing of Peisistratos' son Hippias in 510 B.C. caused construction to halt. From 487 to 379, the Greeks left the temple unfinished because they believed it represented the arrogance of people who thought they were equal to the gods. In fact, the temple wasn't finished until 131 A.D. by the Roman emperor Hadrian when Greece was under Roman rule. No one knows how the temple of Zeus was destroyed, but some believe an earthquake in the medieval period contributed to it. Like many buildings, its materials were taken to construct other buildings. Even with this damage, 15 columns of the temple's original 104 columns still stand.

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