Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Tholos of Delphi

The Tholos of Delphi is a masterpiece of ancient Greek architecture, mainly due to its rich sculpted decoration, polychromy and fine craftsmanship, being also the iconic symbol of Delphi, i.e. the centre of the earth, according to the ancient Greeks. 
In antiquity the Tholos would stand out among the monuments of the Sanctuary of Athena Pronaia, which was the first sanctuary encountered by pilgrims arriving by land from Attica or Boeotia.



The circular edifice is dated in the early 4th century BC. Its superstructure is built of marble from Mount Penteli in Attica. The Roman architect Vitruvius mentions in his book De Architrctura that the architect of this innovative monument was Theodoros from Phocaea.
The function of the building is still unknown; it was possibly associated with the cult of Mother Earth, the first divinity worshipped in the sanctuary. 

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