The ancient Greek Temple of Niki Apteros is located on the Athenian Acropolis. It is also called the temple of Athens-Nika. Translated from the Greek "Nika" means "victory", and Athena - the goddess of victory in war and wisdom.
The temple is the very first Ionic temple in the Acropolis and is located on a steep hill to the right of Propile (central entrance). Here the locals worshiped the goddess in the hope of a positive outcome in the long war with the Spartans and their allies (Peloponnesian War).
Unlike the Acropolis, where the walls of the sanctuary could only be reached through the Propylaea, Nike’s sanctuary was opened. The temple was built between 427 and 424 BC. The famous ancient Greek architect Kallikrat on the site of a more ancient temple of Athena, which was destroyed by the Persians in 480 BC. The structure is an amphipstil - a type of ancient Greek temple, on the front and rear facades of which there are four columns in one row. The temple's style has three steps. Friezes are decorated with sculptural reliefs depicting Athens, Zeus, Poseidon and scenes of military battles. The surviving fragments of sculpted friezes are exhibited in the Acropolis Museum and the British Museum, but copies are fixed on the temple today.
Like most of the buildings of the Acropolis, the Temple of Niki Apteros is built of pentelicon marble. After the work was completed, approximately in 410 BC, the temple was surrounded by a parapet in order to protect people from falling from a steep cliff. From the outside, it was decorated with bas-reliefs depicting Nicky.
Inside the temple was a statue of the goddess Nike. In one hand, the statue had a helmet (a symbol of war), and in the other a grenade (symbol of fertility). The Greeks usually depicted a winged goddess, but this statue did not have wings. This was done on purpose so that victory would not leave the city. Hence the name of the temple Niki Apteros (wingless victory).