Παρθενώνας

( Parthenon )

The Parthenon (; Ancient Greek: Παρθενών, romanized: Parthenōn [par.tʰe.nɔ̌ːn]; Greek: Παρθενώνας, romanized: Parthenónas [parθeˈnonas]) is a former temple on the Athenian Acropolis, Greece, that was dedicated to the goddess Athena during the fifth century BC. Its decorative sculptures are conside...Read more

The Parthenon (; Ancient Greek: Παρθενών, romanized: Parthenōn [par.tʰe.nɔ̌ːn]; Greek: Παρθενώνας, romanized: Parthenónas [parθeˈnonas]) is a former temple on the Athenian Acropolis, Greece, that was dedicated to the goddess Athena during the fifth century BC. Its decorative sculptures are considered some of the high points of classical Greek art, an enduring symbol of Ancient Greece, democracy and Western civilization.

The Parthenon was built in thanksgiving for the Hellenic victory over Persian Empire invaders during the Greco-Persian Wars. Like most Greek temples, the Parthenon also served as the city treasury.

Construction started in 447 BC when the Delian League was at the peak of its power. It was completed in 438 BC; work on the decoration continued until 432 BC. For a time, it served as the treasury of the Delian League, which later became the Athenian Empire. In the final decade of the 6th century AD, the Parthenon was converted into a Christian church dedicated to the Virgin Mary. After the Ottoman conquest in the mid-fifteenth century, it became a mosque. In the Morean War, a Venetian bomb landed on the Parthenon, which the Ottomans had used as a munitions dump, during the 1687 siege of the Acropolis. The resulting explosion severely damaged the Parthenon. From 1800 to 1803, the 7th Earl of Elgin took down some of the surviving sculptures, now known as the Elgin Marbles or simply Greek Marbles, which, although he had the permission of the then Ottoman government, has subsequently become controversial.

The Parthenon replaced an older temple of Athena, which historians call the Pre-Parthenon or Older Parthenon, that was demolished in the Persian invasion of 480 BC.

Since 1975, numerous large-scale restoration projects have been undertaken to preserve remaining artifacts and ensure its structural integrity.

Photographies by:
Steve Swayne - CC BY 2.0
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