Propylaea. ATHENS. 2. Route. 45
The task of spanning the intervals between the columns and
the walls by huge stone beams, some of which required to be 20 ft.
in length, and the problem of harmonizing the different elevations
of the W. and E. porticos presented difficulties the magnitude
of which is apparent on the most cursory inspection. The size of
the fallen remains of these beams affords an idea of the power
and perfection of the apparatus used in swinging them into their
The best-preserved part of the Propylaea is the North Wing, which
consists of a portico, 16*/2 ft. deep, and an inner hall, measuring
261/2 ft. in depth. The front of the portico is formed by three
Doric columns, 19 ft. high and 2i/2-3i/4 ft. in diameter, arranged
'in antis'. The partition between the porch and the inner room is
pierced by a door and two windows, the former 14 ft. 9 in. high and
8 ft. 4 in. wide. This inner room is named the Pinakotheka, from its
use as a receptacle for votive pictures ('pinakes') on marble or terra¬
cotta. The nature of the walls renders the supposition of mural
The South Wing is much smaller, and its remains consist merely
of two columns and the back-wall. On the W. the wing opens on
the bastion that bears the Temple of Nike.
The original plan of Mnesikles probably contemplated a S. wing cor¬
responding in size to the N. wing; but his design was curtailed in con¬
sequence of the opposition that made itself felt against Perikles. The
colonnades that were to have extended on each side of the central build¬
ing, on one side across the Brauronian terrace, on the other side towards
the N. wall of the Acropolis, were not constructed. — The piece of poros
masonry in the angle formed by the S. wall of the central building and
the K. wall of the S. wing is a fragment of a gateway which was probably
built by the Peisistratida; and temporarily restored by Themistokles or
Kimon after the Persian wars. — The stone at the S.E. angle of the 8.
wing of the Propylsea has been cut away, thus showing the height of the
Pelasgian wall when the Propylaea were being built.
During the 13th cent, the Franks converted the N. wing of the Pro*
pyla?a into government offices, and built the so-called 'Tower of the Franks'
above the S. wing. This tower, formerly a conspicuous object in most
views of the Acropolis, was removed in 1875. The Turkish pashas after¬
wards resided here, until the central structure was destroyed by an ex¬
plosion of gunpowder in 1645. A Turkish battery, which extended from
the Temple of Nike to the N. wing of the Propylaea, was removed in
1835 (comp. p. 41).
Passing through the E. portico of the Propylaea, we enter the
Inneb Wakd of the Acropolis and ascend a gradual slope, now
covered with ruins and presenting a profoundly impressive scene.
Here the spectator should endeavour to picture in his mind the
imposing Parthenon, rising above all (on the right), the1 charming
Erechtheion on the left, with their rich sculpture and brilliant co¬
louring, and the numerous smaller shrines ; ttien the profusion of
votive offerings and the forest of statues and groups which here
greeted the eye when the huge gates of the Propylaea were thrown
open to admit the Panathenaean procession. He will then be en-