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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Founded: 447 BC
Category: Castles and fortifications in Greece


4.8/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Rob Bennett (13 months ago)
Hot, no shade at the top. Take care as marble stairs are slippery. Thought it would be bigger and better maintained - but still a must-see
Sandeep Deshmukh (14 months ago)
Truly amazing experience to visit this place... It's a great walk from Plaka region to the top of Acropolis... Parthenon is the main attraction of this place... A lot of renovation is in progress... but still a great experience to be a part of the history... General information has been written in English and Greek... but hiring a guide can give you much better experience of the visit... in Oct 21, the guide was charging about €20 per person per guided tour... Oct is probably an off-season time so there were less tourists and we could see the place better... click good photographs... but in peak tourist season, things may be a bit difficult with longer queue for tickets, Entry, costlier guides, and overall crowded place... Our trip in Oct gave us great sunshine, but amazingly pleasant temperatures, very little crowd and overall a great experience ..
Sean Duffy (14 months ago)
Loved every minute of the visit. Absolutely magnificent experience. This is a must visit for anyone lucky enough to be in Athens.. Don't miss out.
Andrea Archer (2 years ago)
Really amazing to see how they have preserved this historical site. The views of the city are amazing. Part of the entrance is under construction but it doesn't take away the overall effect of these historical monuments.
AztecSamurai (2 years ago)
My wife’s boyfriend, Tyrone, really enjoys the architecture of the Parthenon. He is a real big fan of Greek culture and history and visiting this place was a dream come true! If he’s happy, I’m happy!
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Odeon of Herodes Atticus

The Odeon of Herodes Atticus is a stone theatre structure located on the southwest slope of the Acropolis of Athens. It was built in 161 AD by the Athenian magnate Herodes Atticus in memory of his wife, Aspasia Annia Regilla. It was originally a steep-sloped theater with a three-story stone front wall and a wooden roof made of expensive cedar of Lebanon timber. It was used as a venue for music concerts with a capacity of 5,000. It lasted intact until it was destroyed and left in ruins by the Heruli in 267 AD.

The audience stands and the orchestra (stage) were restored using Pentelic marble in the 1950s. Since then it has been the main venue of the Athens Festival, which runs from May through October each year, featuring a variety of acclaimed Greek as well as International performances.