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The Erechtheion

The elegant building known as the Erechtheion, on the north side of the sacred rock of the Acropolis, was erected in 421-406 BC as a replacement of an earlier temple dedicated to Athena Polias, the so-called ''Old Temple''. The temple burned in the first century BC and was subsequently repaired with minor alterations. In the Early Christian period it was converted into a church dedicated to the Theometor (Mother of God). It became palace under Frankish rule and the residence of the Turkish commander's harem in the Ottoman period. In the early nineteenth century, Lord Elgin removed one of the Karyatides and a column and during the Greek War of Independence the building was bombarded and severely damaged. Restoration was undertaken immediately after the end of the war and again in 1979-1987, when the Erechtheion became the first monument of the Acropolis to be restored as part of the recent conservation and restoration project.

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