Tetrapylon


The Tetrapylon was the monumental columnar entrance to the sanctuary of Aphrodite. It has sixteen columns (4 X 4) supporting elaborate pediments on each side. A complete stone-for-stone reconstruction or anastylosis of the structure, using 85% original blocks, was completed in 1991. It is a richly ornamented prestige building in the style of the Antonine period (mid-later second century AD). One entered on the east side, from a major north-south street, and passed through the gate into a large open forecourt before the sanctuary proper. Looking back from the inside at the west façade of the gate, the visitor would see an even richer elaboration of the architecture that marked this as the interior. One moved through the gate from the public space of the street to the space of Aphrodite. The broken-recessed west pediment is decorated with high-quality relief work of Erotes hunting in acanthus foliage and with deeply carved architectural ornament in an encrusted imperial style that represented majesty and grandeur. A figure of Aphrodite framed in an acanthus calyx in the central lunette was erased in the Christian period and replaced with a crudely engraved cross.

A Collaboration:

Republic of Turkey Ministry of Culture and Tourism New York University University of Oxford

 

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University of Oxford
Ioannou Centre for Classical & Byzantine Studies
66, St. Giles', Oxford. OX1 3LU

 

Sevgi Gönül Hall, 2008