What Is Parthenon in Ancient Greece?

The Parthenon is a temple located on the Acropolis in Athens, Greece. It was built in the 5th century BCE and is considered one of the greatest achievements of ancient Greek architecture.

The construction of the Parthenon began in 447 BCE and was completed in 438 BCE. It was designed by the famous architects Ictinus and Callicrates, with the sculptor Phidias overseeing the decoration.

The History of Parthenon

The Parthenon was built to honor Athena, the goddess of wisdom and warfare, who was considered to be the patron deity of Athens. The temple served as a center for religious ceremonies as well as a treasury for Athens. The funds used to build it were derived from tribute paid by cities within Athenian territory.

The construction of this magnificent temple was part of Pericles’ building program, which aimed to showcase Athens’ wealth and power during its golden age. The program also included other major constructions such as the Propylaea, Erechtheion, and Temple of Athena Nike.

The Design

The Parthenon is a Doric temple made entirely out of marble. It measures 30 meters wide by 69 meters long and has eight columns on each end and seventeen columns on each side. Its roof was made up of double-layered marble tiles that weighed more than ten tons each.

One unique feature of the Parthenon is its optical illusion design known as entasis. This design element allowed for slight bulging in each column’s center to give an impression that it appears straight from a distance.

Sculptures

The sculptures on the pediments were designed by Phidias himself, depicting scenes from Greek mythology like Poseidon challenging Athena for power over Athens on one end while Lapiths battling Centaurs at other end.

Restoration

The Parthenon has undergone several rounds of restoration, including one in the early 20th century, which involved removing many of the original sculptures and transporting them to the British Museum in London. These sculptures are still the subject of controversy today, with many Greeks calling for their return to Athens.

The Legacy

Despite its turbulent history, the Parthenon remains a symbol of ancient Greek civilization’s achievements in architecture and sculpture. It is a testament to the ingenuity and creativity of the ancient Greeks and continues to inspire awe in visitors from around the world.

In conclusion, The Parthenon is an iconic temple that stands as a reminder of Greece’s rich history and cultural legacy. Its impressive design and intricate sculptures continue to inspire architects and artists today.