What Is a Parthenon in Ancient Greece?

The Parthenon is an ancient Greek temple located on the Acropolis of Athens. It was built in the 5th century BCE during the Athenian Empire, under the leadership of Pericles, and dedicated to the goddess Athena. The Parthenon is considered one of the greatest architectural achievements of ancient Greece and is a symbol of classical civilization.


The construction of the Parthenon began in 447 BCE and was completed in 438 BCE. It was designed by two architects, Ictinus and Callicrates, and supervised by the sculptor Phidias. The temple was built to replace an older temple that had been destroyed by Persian invaders in 480 BCE.


The Parthenon is a Doric-style temple with eight columns at each end and seventeen columns along each side. The columns are made of marble and stand over 30 feet tall. The temple measures approximately 69 feet wide by 138 feet long.

The Parthenon’s pediments were filled with sculptures depicting scenes from Greek mythology, including the birth of Athena on one side and her battle with Poseidon for control of Athens on the other side. The metopes around the exterior walls were also decorated with scenes from Greek mythology, including battles between centaurs and Lapiths.


The Parthenon is not only significant for its architectural beauty but also for its cultural significance. It served as a symbol of Athenian power during a period when Athens was at its height as a city-state. The temple also served as a treasury where valuable objects were stored, including gold and silver statues.

Today, the Parthenon remains one of the most visited tourist attractions in Greece and is recognized as an important cultural landmark worldwide.

The Restoration Project

In recent years, there has been a restoration project underway to repair and preserve the Parthenon. The project has involved removing modern additions, repairing damage caused by weather and pollution, and replacing missing pieces of the temple’s sculptures.

The restoration project has been controversial because some argue that the new additions detract from the authenticity of the temple. However, supporters of the project argue that it is necessary to preserve this important cultural landmark for future generations.


The Parthenon is a testament to the architectural and cultural achievements of ancient Greece. Its beauty and significance have endured for over two thousand years, making it one of the most important landmarks in human history. Whether you are a history buff or an architecture enthusiast, a visit to the Parthenon is an unforgettable experience that should not be missed.