The ancient Greeks were known for their impressive architecture, and one of the most well-known examples is the temple that still stands today – The Parthenon.
The History of the Parthenon
Located in Athens, Greece, the Parthenon was built in honor of the goddess Athena. Construction began in 447 BC and was completed in 438 BC.
It was designed by architects Ictinus and Callicrates, with sculptural decoration by Phidias. The temple was used as a treasury for the city-state of Athens and housed a massive gold and ivory statue of Athena.
The Features of the Parthenon
The Parthenon is an impressive example of Doric architecture, with eight columns at each end and seventeen on each side. The columns are made out of Pentelic marble with fluted shafts and intricately carved capitals. The temple measures 69.5 meters long by 30.9 meters wide.
One unique feature of the Parthenon is its use of optical illusions to make it appear perfectly straight despite being built on uneven ground. For example, the columns are slightly wider at the bottom than they are at the top, which gives them an appearance of being straight when viewed from afar.
The Destruction and Restoration
Over time, the Parthenon has suffered significant damage due to wars, earthquakes, and looting. In 1687, during a war between Venice and Turkey, a Venetian cannonball hit the temple’s gunpowder store causing an explosion that destroyed much of its roof and walls.
In modern times, restoration efforts have been made to preserve what remains of this ancient wonder. In recent years, there have been debates about returning some key sculptures known as Elgin Marbles (which were removed from Greece during Ottoman rule) back to Greece from British Museum where they’re housed currently.
The Parthenon is a remarkable testament to the skill and craftsmanship of ancient Greek architects and builders. Despite the damage it has suffered throughout history, it still stands as a symbol of Athens and continues to inspire awe in visitors from all over the world. It remains one of the most famous temples from ancient Greece, and its legacy will undoubtedly continue to be celebrated for generations to come.