AP/Lefteris Pitarakis

Elegant, graceful, serene, the caryatid columns of the eastern porch of the Erechtheum seem to move gently forward, as if stepping out into empty space. The Greek word “caryatid” means “women of Karyai” (Karyai is another name for Laconia, the region of the Peloponnesus where Sparta is located). The five caryatids (of six, since one is missing) now on the structure are replicas; one of the original maidens was removed by Lord Elgin in the early 19th century, and the others are now in the Acropolis Museum.