Find information about the main attractions in the Acropolis

Inside The Parthenon

The Parthenon is an iconic symbol of ancient Greek civilization and a masterpiece of classical Greek architecture. It is located on the Acropolis hill in Athens and was built as a temple dedicated to the goddess Athena, who was believed to be the protector of the city. The construction of the Parthenon began in 447 BCE and was completed in 432 BCE, during the Golden Age of Athens under the leadership of Pericles.

Who built the Parthenon?

The temple was designed by the architects Ictinus and Callicrates, while the famous sculptor Phidias was responsible for the sculptural decoration of the Parthenon, including the massive statue of Athena inside the temple. The building is a prime example of the Doric order of architecture, characterized by its simplicity and elegance, and its exquisite decoration and symmetry.

What is the History behind the Parthenon

The Parthenon has had a turbulent history since its construction, with its use and condition constantly changing over the centuries. During the early Christian period, the temple was converted into a church, and in the Ottoman period, it was used as a mosque. In 1687, the Parthenon was severely damaged by an explosion when the Venetians attacked the city, causing significant destruction to the structure and the sculptures.

In the early 19th century, Lord Elgin, a British diplomat, removed many of the sculptures from the Parthenon and took them to Britain, where they are still known as the Elgin Marbles. Since Greece’s independence in the 19th century, the Parthenon has been restored and preserved as a significant monument to Greek history and culture. Today, it is a major tourist attraction and a symbol of the ancient Greek civilization’s artistic and cultural achievements.

View from below the parthenon

What is the architecture based on the Parthenon

The Parthenon is an outstanding example of classical Greek architecture, designed in the Doric order. It has a rectangular floor plan with eight columns on the short sides and seventeen columns on the long sides, supporting the entablature and pediments. The Parthenon is renowned for its symmetry, proportion, and precise measurements, achieved through the use of mathematical principles and optical illusions. The temple’s decoration features sculptural relief panels, which depict scenes from Greek mythology, and the famous frieze that encircles the inner chamber, depicting the Panathenaic procession. The Parthenon’s architectural perfection and beauty have inspired countless buildings throughout history and remain a testament to the ingenuity and skill of ancient Greek architects.

What to see in the Parthenon

Metopes Parthenon

Rectangular relief sculptures that were placed in the frieze of the temple are known as the metopes of parthenon. There are a total of 92 metopes, which are arranged in four rows around the exterior of the temple. The metopes depict various scenes from Greek mythology, including the battle between the Lapiths and Centaurs, the Trojan War, and the Amazonomachy. The sculptural relief technique used on the metopes is highly intricate and detailed, showcasing the skill of the ancient Greek sculptors. The metopes are an important part of the Parthenon’s decoration and contribute to its overall artistic and architectural significance.

Parthenon Frieze

A sculptural band that wraps around the interior of the temple, above the colonnade. It is a continuous narrative relief that depicts the Panathenaic procession, which was an annual festival celebrating the goddess Athena. The frieze is 160 meters long and 1.2 meters high and features over 115 human and animal figures. The level of detail in the frieze is extraordinary, with each figure carefully rendered to capture its individuality and movement. The Parthenon Frieze is considered one of the greatest achievements of classical Greek sculpture and is an iconic representation of ancient Greek culture and art.


The temple features two pediments, one on the east and one on the west end, which are triangular-shaped architectural features above the entrance. The pediments were decorated with elaborate sculptures depicting scenes from Greek mythology, such as the birth of Athena and the battle between the Olympian gods and the giants. The sculptures are considered masterpieces of ancient Greek art and are now mostly housed in the British Museum in London.

Athena Parthenos

The enormous chryselephantine statue of the Greek goddess Athena known as Athena Parthenos formerly occupied the Parthenon temple in Athens. One of the finest pieces of ancient Greek art, the statue was produced by the renowned Greek sculptor Phidias in the fifth century BC. The enormous chryselephantine statue of the Greek goddess Athena known as Athena Parthenos formerly occupied the Parthenon temple in Athens. One of the finest pieces of ancient Greek art, the statue was produced by the renowned Greek sculptor Phidias in the fifth century BC. The statue depicted Athena in full armor, holding a shield and a spear, and was covered in gold and ivory. It stood over 38 feet tall and was the largest Chryselephantine statue ever made. Unfortunately, the statue was lost or destroyed during the Middle Ages, and only small copies and depictions of it remain.

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