The Parthenon is a temple found on the Athenian Acropolis in Greece. Built-in 447-438 BC, it is dedicated to the goddess Athena, the patron deity of Athens. Over thousands of years, it has been used as a temple, church, mosque, and military munitions store. Its status as an iconic symbol of Ancient Greece has also allowed it to remain relevant throughout modern history.
Once a magnificent temple, its timeless beauty has seen it transformed into a host of functions over time.
Serving as a church and mosque in centuries past before being filled with military provisions, its vibrant history only enhances its iconic standing.
Today the significance of this illustrious temple remains undiminished; a powerful symbol of Grecian culture recognized throughout modern history and across the globe.
Parthenon Facts for Kids
- The Parthenon is a temple in Greece.
- It was built in the 5th century BC.
- It is dedicated to the goddess Athena.
- The Parthenon is a symbol of ancient Greek culture.
- It is located on the Acropolis in Athens.
- The Parthenon is one of the most famous ancient buildings in the world.
What Do We Know About the Design and Construction of The Parthenon?
The Parthenon was built in 447 BC under the general direction of Phidias, a sculptor. Iktinos and Kallikrates were the architects of this iconic structure.
It is believed to be a perfect example of a Doric order temple ever constructed.
It stands on the Acropolis of Athens and measures 30.9 meters by 69.5 meters at its base. The internal colonnade consists of two tiers supporting its distinctive roof line.
Its columns measure 1.9 meters in diameter and 10.4 meters in height, with corner columns growing slightly larger.
Moreover, engineers applied subtle curves to make it appear even more symmetrical than it actually is: the stylobate is curved upward by 60 millimeters at both ends, while 110 millimeters on the sides and sides, respectively.
This creates an optical effect that enhances visual balance and symmetry across the entire structure.
To construct it, funds were sourced from a treasury of the Delian League, specifically from mounting Pentelicus, located 16 km from Athens.
Throughout construction, new advances and refinements were implemented, as evidenced by accounts showing large expenses towards transportation of stones used to build it proved key building materials for this great monument – thus signifying its importance as one of the ancient world’s most exquisite structures still standing today!
What is Decoration?
Decoration is the art of transforming an ordinary thing into a beautiful, eye-catching feature.
Decoration can be achieved in many ways, including painting, sculpture, and other works of art.
Decorations have been around, from the walls of houses to the sails of ships, for thousands of years.
The Parthenon was decorated with elaborate marble sculptures both inside and out. On the exterior, this included depictions of Athena’s birth on the eastern pediment and battles between gods and humans on all four sides.
Internally, a frieze showcased scenes from the Panathenaia festival honoring Athena. It’s speculated that even though today we only see its white marble structure, it was likely originally painted, perhaps with bright reds and blues, to make its sculptures stand out more when seen from below.
Decorations provide both beauty and meaning to our world; they add charm while often representing deeper cultural or spiritual associations.
With modern advancements in decoration technology, such as paint sprays, edge banding machines, or heat transfer printing machines, creating custom-designed decorative items has become easier than ever before.
From clothing items to entire rooms or buildings, decoration has come a long way!
History of the Parthenon
The Parthenon remained an important temple for close to 1000 years. In the 4th century AD, it was still intact, yet Athens had become only a city of the Roman Empire.
In the 5th century, its famous Athena statue was looted, taken to Constantinople, and eventually destroyed.
Subsequently, it was converted into a Christian Church; first, a Church of the Theotokos, then a Catholic Church of Our Lady.
Then after Athens fell to the Ottomans in 1456, it became a mosque with a minaret added to it. Though it was conserved at this time, European visitors in the 17th century testified that its building shape largely remained undamaged.
However, its biggest blow came when the Venetians attacked Athens in 1687 and used Parthenon as a powder magazine; due to a shell explosion, almost all internal structures were demolished while some pillars on the southern side lost their headstones.
Many sculptures also fell apart, and their pieces were later made souvenirs – subsequently, buildings fell into disuse.
What’s The Deal With More Recent Events?
Europeans began exploring Athens and its ruins of the Parthenon in the late 18th century; admiration for these monuments led to Britain and France desiring Greek independence.
In 1801, Earl of Elgin obtained a firman allowing him to make casts and drawings of the antiquities on Acropolis — he went as far as removing sculptures from the sites themselves. These sculptures now reside in British Museum, Louvre, Copenhagen, and Acropolis Museum.
When Greece achieved independence in 1832, they removed minarettes from Parthenon and all other surrounding medieval & modern buildings in the area so it could become a historic precinct.
Now it entices millions of tourists every year.
However, its greatest threats today are environmental: vehicle exhausts & traffic vibration threaten both its foundations and remaining sculptures. Over the past two decades, Athens has been trying to tackle these problems, but the future of the Parthenon is still uncertain.
Was The Parthenon Built as a Treasury or a Temple
This debate has been circulating for centuries since the Parthenon was constructed.
While its grand architectural design, intended to honor Athena and hold her renowned statue, makes it obvious that it was meant to be a temple, some say it was only used as a treasury.
Recent years have seen more people take this stance, stating that true Greek sacrifices only took place outside in an open sky setting, and thus the Parthenon would not suit these definitions.
However, most scholars agree with Walter Burkert’s assessment that the Parthenon should be viewed as an all-encompassing sanctuary of temenos, altar, and temple with a cult image.
Important Facts and Overview
The Parthenon is a temple located in Athens, Greece. It was built in the 5th century BC and is dedicated to the goddess Athena, the patron of the city.
The Parthenon is known for its Doric columns and elaborate sculptures, which depict scenes from Greek mythology.
In the 19th century, the Parthenon was acquired by Thomas Bruce, the 7th Earl of Elgin. He removed many of the temple’s sculptures and sold them to the British government.
The removal of the sculptures, known as the Elgin Marbles, has been a point of contention between the Greek and British governments.
The Parthenon is one of the most famous ancient temples in the world and is considered a symbol of ancient Greek culture. It is also one of the best-preserved examples of Greek temple architecture.
Inside the Parthenon, there was once a massive statue of Athena Parthenos, the goddess of wisdom. The statue was made of gold and ivory and was one of the most valuable treasures in ancient Greece.
The Greek government is responsible for maintaining and preserving the Parthenon, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.