Thursday, July 11, 2013

Armenian Garni & Greek Parthenon

The interesting similarities exist between history and culture of Indo-European populace. History and cultural connections between Armenian and Greek people date back to ancient ages. Armenian Garni and ancient Greek Parthenon is the proof that strikes the attention of visitor has previously experienced Greek mythic temple of Parthenon. From the first glance, it seems the architects of these temples had the same fantasy and visual musing. Both temples were dedicated to pagan gods, Parthenon to gods from Greek mythology, Armenian Garni to Hellenistic god Mithras, the god of the sun.

More attentive look reveals the differences. Its architectural shapes are Hellenistic but local traditions also expressed in the decorations and construction materials. Ganri is a lot smaller and is built of dark gray basalt, compared to marble built Parthenon. Unlike the Parthenon, the Garni temple has all its columns intact and even preserved most of its original roof. Its decorations and mosaics have been damaged by conquerors over the centuries. In spite of long tartan history, the temple had preserved its beauty and magnetism.

The temple stands on a high podium with a two-step base and is surrounded with 24 Ionic columns. A broad nine-step stairway guides up to the podium. The sides of the stairway are decorated, showing kneeling Atlantes with uplifted hands. The rectangle-based religious edifice with columns and a pediment was known on the territory of the Armenian upland back in the epoch of the Urarts. The style of architecture influenced the overall composition of Armenia's heathen temples in general, and that of Garni temple, especially the outlines of certain details and the interior decoration.


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