The Parthenon is a formertemple, on the Athenian Acropolis, Greece, dedicated to the goddess Athena, whom the people of Athensconsidered their patron. Construction began in 447 BC when the Athenian Empire was at the peak of its power. It was completed in 438 BC although decoration of the building continued until 432 BC. It is the most important surviving building of Classical Greece, generally considered the zenith of the Doric order. Its decorative sculptures are considered some of the high points of Greek art. The Parthenon is regarded as an enduring symbol ofAncient Greece, Athenian democracy and western civilization, and one of the world’s greatest cultural monuments. The Greek Ministry of Culture is currently carrying out a programme of selective restoration and reconstruction to ensure the stability of the partially ruined structure.
The Parthenon itself replaced an older temple of Athena, which historians call the Pre-Parthenon or Older Parthenon, that was destroyed in the Persian invasion of 480 BC. The temple is archaeoastronomically aligned to the Hyades. While a sacred building dedicated to the city’s patron goddess, the Parthenon was actually used primarily as a treasury. For a time, it served as the treasury of the Delian League, which later became the Athenian Empire. In the final decade of the sixth century AD, the Parthenon was converted into a Christian church dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
After the Ottoman conquest, it was turned into a mosque in the early 1460s. On 26 September 1687, an Ottoman ammunition dump inside the building was ignited by Venetian bombardment. The resulting explosion severely damaged the Parthenon and its sculptures. From 1800 to 1803, Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin removed some of the surviving sculptures with the alleged permission of the Ottoman Empire. These sculptures, now known as the Elgin Marbles or the Parthenon Marbles, were sold in 1816 to the British Museum in London, where they are now displayed. Since 1983 (on the initiative of Culture Minister Melina Mercouri), the Greek government has been committed to the return of the sculptures to Greece.
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- Address: Athens 105 58, Greece
- Construction started: 447 BC
- Opened: 432 BC
- Architects: Phidias, Ictinus, Callicrates
- Architectural styles: Doric order, Classical architecture
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- Andrew Morgan: Excellent location, next to I-80. Very clean and comfortable rooms. Good selection of food for a hot breakfast. The pool and hot tub help relax after a day on the road. Lobby area is a nice place to sit and read the paper or play card games with the kids. Great staff that make you feel welcome!
- Ramaswamy Narayanan: While many of us have seen this place in various movies, it is an incredible experience to see in person. Very well maintained and clean. Beautiful grounds to walk at different times of the day. Amazing views of the Acropolis and the hills. Takes just an hour to walk through. A must see for Athens visitors.