How Has the Parthenon Changed From Ancient Times?

The Parthenon, one of the most iconic ancient Greek architectural wonders, has undergone significant changes over time. This magnificent structure was built in the 5th century BCE and has been through various stages of alteration and restoration.

Origins of the Parthenon

Built on top of the Acropolis hill in Athens, the Parthenon was constructed as a temple dedicated to the goddess Athena. The structure was designed by architects Iktinos and Kallikrates and was completed in 438 BCE. The temple was adorned with intricate sculptures, including the massive statue of Athena made of ivory and gold.

The Changes Over Time

Over time, several changes were made to the structure. In 480 BCE, just two years after construction had started, the temple was destroyed by Persian invaders. It wasn’t until almost 30 years later that work on rebuilding began under the leadership of Pericles.

Restoration Under Roman Rule

The Roman Empire took control of Athens in 146 BCE, which marked a new phase for the Parthenon. It underwent several changes to suit its new role as a Christian church during this period. The temple’s walls were plastered over with a layer of cement to create smaller rooms inside.

The Ottoman Empire Rule

In 1687 CE during the Ottoman Empire rule, there was an explosion at the Parthenon caused by Venetian artillery fire during a battle against Turkish forces. This caused severe damage to both its exterior and interior structures.

Reconstruction Attempts

In modern times, there have been several attempts at reconstructing parts of the Parthenon. In recent years, some sculptures have been returned from various museums around Europe to their original location in Athens.

The Parthenon Today

Today, visitors can see not only the restored ancient structure but also the remains of previous restorations and alterations. The Parthenon is a symbol of Greece’s rich history and cultural heritage, attracting millions of visitors every year.

  • Restoration:

In modern times, efforts have been made to restore the Parthenon to its original glory. The most recent restoration project began in 1983 and is still ongoing. It involves cleaning the marble surfaces and repairing damage caused by pollution and weathering.

  • Legacy:

Despite all the changes, the Parthenon continues to stand as a testament to Greek architecture and culture. Its legacy has influenced countless structures around the world, from government buildings to public monuments.


In conclusion, the Parthenon has undergone significant changes over time due to natural disasters, war, and human intervention. However, it continues to be a marvel of ancient Greek architecture that attracts visitors from all over the world. The efforts at restoration are ongoing, ensuring that this iconic structure remains preserved for future generations to admire and appreciate.