Parthenon

Athens, Greece

The Parthenon is a former temple, on the Athenian Acropolis, dedicated to the goddess Athena, whom the people of Athens considered their patron. Construction began in 447 BC when the Athenian Empire was at the peak of its power. It was completed in 438 BC although decoration of the building continued until 432 BC. It is the most important surviving building of Classical Greece, generally considered the zenith of the Doric order. The decorative sculptures are considered some of the high points of Greek art. The Parthenon is regarded as an enduring symbol of Ancient Greece, Athenian democracy and western civilization, and one of the world's greatest cultural monuments. To the Athenians who built it, the Parthenon and other Periclean monuments of the Acropolis, were seen fundamentally as a celebration of Hellenic victory over the Persian invaders and as a thanksgiving to the gods for that victory. The Greek Ministry of Culture is currently carrying out a programme of selective restoration and reconstruction to ensure the stability of the partially ruined structure.

The Parthenon itself replaced an older temple of Athena, which historians call the Pre-Parthenon or Older Parthenon, that was destroyed in the Persian invasion of 480 BC. The temple is archaeoastronomically aligned to the Hyades. Like most Greek temples, the Parthenon served a practical purpose as the city treasury. For a time, it served as the treasury of the Delian League, which later became the Athenian Empire. In the final decade of the sixth century AD, the Parthenon was converted into a Christian church dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

After the Ottoman conquest, it was turned into a mosque in the early 1460s. On 26 September 1687, an Ottoman ammunition dump inside the building was ignited by Venetian bombardment. The resulting explosion severely damaged the Parthenon and its sculptures. From 1800 to 1803, Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin removed some of the surviving sculptures with the alleged permission of the Ottoman Empire. These sculptures, now known as the Elgin Marbles or the Parthenon Marbles, were sold in 1816 to the British Museum in London, where they are now displayed.

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Acropolis, Athens, Greece
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Details

Founded: 447 BC
Category: Castles and fortifications in Greece

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4.8/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

J.P. Magat (3 months ago)
First time in Athens and this is the first place I wanted to go and take pictures with. Definitely that feeling of seeing some real life historical places. I had a night over so it was definitely worth it. They are making some renovations to preserve the place but highly recommend for those who have ample time to visit.
Dylan Kehr (4 months ago)
Going in the shoulder season is definitely the way to go. It's not as hot and there aren't as many people milling around. The views are spectacular and it's a surreal experience to see these ancient structures in person. We used the ticket kiosks and got through the line in 5 minutes or so.
T Vijaypal Reddy (4 months ago)
Pantheon in Rome is an awesome place. It’s one of the few monuments which was constructed many centuries ago but with stood the earth quakes. The highlight is its dome which is unique in the world and it’s amazing to see the architecture of those times.
Angelo Di Francesco (4 months ago)
Just an incredible place that is a must see as it gives you a true sense of the size and scale of the site. Well worth the visit but it can be very hot and crowded during peak season. My visit was in Late October so it was fantastic.
4KProductions (4 months ago)
History! Fantastic place! Must see! Good to see the progress of rebuilding these beautiful buildings! A lifetime memory for every visitor! Highly recommended to come and see if you are in Athens. Buy your ticket online and come early as the heat can rise high and the crowds of people.
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