Parthenon was an oldest temple of limestone, which it is said that was
placed in the position of Parthenon. Peisistratus first systematically
organized the worship of Athena, constructing or extending the
Hekatompedos temple (or Dorpfeld's temple, named after the German
archeologist who discovered it's foundations), a Doric building with 2 columns
on each facade, length 32.80 meters (100 feet, as it's name says), from porous
stone, covered with white marble powder. In the main temple was placed the
statue -made of olive wood - of Athena Polias and in the megaron (or
opisthodomos) the offers, the treasure, the equipment of the worship. There
were coloured depictions on the metopes with scenes from the life of Heracles.
The materials that were used for
the decorative parts of the Hekatompedon (metopes, friezes, etc.) were porous
stone or gray stone from Hymettus, and later Pentelic marble or marble from
Paros. The sons of Peisistratus, Hipparchus and Hippias,
decided to add an external colonnade, in Hekatompedon, the peristasis,
made of porous stone, but with friezes and metopes from marble.
The peripteral temple
(temple with an external colonnade) had dominated in many other greek cities.
The new metopes represented in the east a gigantomachy, with Athena in
the center to defeat Enceladus, and to the west a theriomachy. The new
Hekatompedos temple had 12 columns on it's side and 6 on the facades, and formed
a rectangle of length 43.95 meters and 21.85 meters wide. Finally, the old gate
of the Pelasgean wall turned to Propylaea, an area of 13.50 x 11
meters, with a square passage and with two Doric columns on each facade.
After the Peisistratids,
in 510 BC, the Spartans came and beleaguered Hippias on the Acropolis,
forcing him to capitulate. The democratic revolution that followed demolished
the houses of tyrants, and let tear down the Pelasgian wall considered it as
"damn." After 506 BC Cleisthenes decided to build a new temple of Athena
Polias. Thus was born the draft of Parthenon. Since the demolition of
Hekatompedon would be a sacrilege, they chose an area that was already sacred,
but had not buildings, 25 meters south of Hekatompedon. There, were taken place
celebrations in Panathenaea. They straightened the ground and designed
the new Parthenon.