Architecture is the oldest of the fine arts. Victor Hugo once said: “Architecture has recorded the great ideas of the human race. Not only every religious symbol, but every human thought has its page in that vast book.” The Oxford dictionary defines architecture as: “the art or practice of designing and constructing buildings; the style in which a building is designed or constructed, especially with regard to a specific period, place, or culture.” This definition of architecture states that there are different styles of architecture when looking at different cultures and periods of time. In this paper the architecture of Parthenon, a Classic Greek temple and Amiens, a medieval Gothic cathedral will be described and compared.
Classic Greek temple
The classical Parthenon was constructed between 447-432 BCE to be the focus of the Acropolis building complex. The architects were Iktinos and Kallikrates and it was dedicated to the goddess Athena Pallas or Parthenos. The temple’s main function was to shelter the monumental statue of Athena that was made by Pheidias out of gold and ivory. The temple and the chryselephantine statue were dedicated in 438, although work on the sculptures of its pediment continued until completion in 432 BCE (The Parthenon).
The Parthenon is a large temple, but it is by no means the largest one in Greece. Its aesthetic appeal emanates from the refinement of many established norms of Greek architecture, and from the quality of its sculptural decoration. The Parthenon epitomizes all the ideals of Greek thought during the apogee of the Classical era through artistic means. The idealism of the Greek way of living, the attention to detail, as well as the understanding of a mathematically explained harmony in the natural world, were concepts that set them apart from the barbarians. These ideals are represented in the perfect proportions of the building, in its intricate architectural elements, and in...