Choregic Monument

Choregic Monument of Lysikrates

The Choregic Monument of Lysikrates in Athens is best known as the first use of the Corinthian Order on the outside of a building. This exquisite monument is minor in size but has served as an expression of Corinthian elegance in exterior and interior applications throughout the United States and Europe. The monument, one of the most delightful remains of Hellenistic antiquity, was initially built as a monumental base to support a now-lost bronze tripod won by a young man as the trophy for a musical competition in 334 B.C. His proud parents exalted this victory by constructing a blue-marble structure from Mount Hymetos not only to raise the bronze tripod on a pedestal, but to create a lasting architectural icon. The square base supports a cylindrical tower surrounded by six columns of white marble from Mount Penteli, the same marble used in the Parthenon. The number of columns is divided in half to culminate in a three-pronged finial covered with intertwining acanthus leaves and stalks that provided the rests for the tripod.