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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Founded: 447 BC
Category: Castles and fortifications in Greece

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4.8/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Doug Johnson (17 months ago)
The architecture is the same as the Great Pyramids. It is amazing how much of the old architecture is the same... but yet, different styles of building and design. You can only go outside the building not inside. Due to the slippery stones.
Santiago (17 months ago)
Emblematic building of the city. A pity the destruction it suffered in earlier centuries. Still you can appreciate the monumental construction it one was. A lot of information about it can be found in the Acropolis Museum. When you see it from one of the surrounding hills or streets, it awakens a sense of awe every single time.
Aakash kulkarni (18 months ago)
What an incredible place! If you want to live Ancient Greek history, hire a tour guide. Architecture of Parthenon is splendid and beautiful.
lahari kargal (18 months ago)
A place of great history. It's amazing to see it stand so tall even after all these years. Everyone visiting Athens must not miss this wonder!
Elena Ramona (18 months ago)
I liked it but Nothing really to be wow -ed by. Good price for the tickets and the fact that they close so early is not exactly great . I have heard some turists complain about the stuff up there telling them not to smoke . Good thing I am not a smoker .
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