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

Emilia Zvigzne (14 months ago)
Very nice looking but for those who payed the full entry fee of €20 were a bit let down because the parthenon was a bit under construction. Still lovely, though.
Sarah Macdonald (15 months ago)
Amazing! But there is a lot of scaffolding and careful policing of everything visitors do, and now also some plexiglass. I suppose this is to be expected but takes the shine off things a little bit. €20 is a lot to ask for entrance but acceptable considering the amount of upkeep required to keep this ancient monument standing.
Kornelijus Žitkevičius (15 months ago)
It looked better looking at Acropolis from other hills than being on it. Current construction works are distorting the view. I'd say its a must go destination if you visit Athens but keep your expectations low. By the way Europeans under 25 can see the place for free
Meg Nicholson (16 months ago)
Incredible historic building, absolutely worth a visit. Inspiring and beautiful even with the restoration work, plus a bonus to see so many other ancient buildings/ruins alongside it.
David Fox (16 months ago)
An amazing place to appreciate history and enjoy panoramic views of the city of Athens. Really well preserved and maintained, and pairs nicely with the Acropolis Museum
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