When it comes to great civilizations in history, it is impossible not to mention ancient Greece. For centuries, the ancient Greeks gave birth to the Western culture as we know it today. From law, politics to athletics and architecture, they have left an indelible mark in the process of social development. And in ancient Greece we cannot ignore the symbol of this period – the temple Parthenon .
Located on the Acropolis in Athens, the Parthenon was built during the height of the Greek empire. Constructed in 447 BC, it took nine years for the structure to be completed and another six to complete all the decorative elements. Built in the classical architectural style, the proportions of the temple have been studied for centuries. It was even thought that the temple structure was approximately the golden ratio, although this has been disproved.
As one of the most famous attractions in the world, the Parthenon attracts millions of visitors every year to admire its majestic form. With a long history, there is so much to learn about this iconic architecture. In this article, let iDesign explore the 10 most interesting things about the Parthenon, the pinnacle of Greek architecture!
1. The temple was built exclusively for a Greek goddess
The Parthenon is dedicated to the patron saint of Athens – the goddess Athena. A small shrine dedicated to the goddess, unearthed, is located on a sanctuary in this sanctuary.
2. The Parthenon is not the first temple here
The history of the old Acropolis is older than the Parthenon. Acropolis in the city of Athens is the most famous in the world, so today, when it comes to the acropolis, it is understood that it is the Acropolis of Athens and all the monuments surrounding the Acropolis are called under a common name. Acropolis temple complex good Acropolis citadel. This older temple was destroyed during the Persian War in 480 BC while it was still under construction. After more than 30 years in ruins, the Greeks decided to revive and build the site to become the present day Parthenon.
3. For a long time the temple was used as a mosque
Typical of many ancient buildings, the Parthenon has undergone a number of transformations throughout its long history. In the 1460s, when Greece was under Ottoman rule, the temple was converted into a mosque and lasted for nearly 200 years. Interestingly, the cathedral tower was formed from an existing tower because it was previously used as a Catholic church.
4. Some of the temple’s greatest treasures are located in London
While Greece was still under Ottoman rule, Scottish nobleman Thomas Bruce, Seventh Count Elgin removed about half of the remaining Parthenon’s sculptures. He claimed that he had obtained permission from the Ottomans, and from 1800 to 1803 he transported them by sea to England and is now housed in the British Museum. As one of the finest examples of Classical Greek sculpture, the Parthenon Marbles – or Elgin Marbles – are controversial due to their location in London. The Greek government has called for the restoration of the precious sculptures for many years, with experts discussing it with both sides.
5. The name Partheon has an interesting origin
Parthenon’s name comes from the Greek word παρθενών, meaning “unmarried woman’s apartment.” It is believed that the word has a specific connection to a room in the Parthenon, although historians are still debating to find out exactly which one. There are different theories, but it is possible that the girls (parthenoi) participated in sacrifices for the goddess Athena.
6. This is not really a temple
While we call the Parthenon a temple – and it looks like a temple in terms of architecture – the building, however, does not function quite as is thought. Traditionally, a temple will hold a cult image of Athena – the patron saint. The main cult image of Athena Polias is located in another area of the Acropolis. While a giant statue of Athena by the famous sculptor Phidias is placed inside the Parthenon, it is not associated with a particular sect and therefore will not be worshiped.
7. At first quite showy
We often think of classical art as being white and pristine, however, the Parthenon – as with many Greek architecture and sculptures – will initially be colored vividly. While historians debate how the structure will be covered by color, archaeologists often use UV rays to detect pigments that are currently lost.
8. This is one of the most typical structures in Greece
One of the most iconic buildings in the world, the Parthenon represents Greek architecture. The base measures 228 feet by 101 feet and this is also an amazing example of the Doric column formula. The baseboards are impressive when filled with sculptures and a frieze surrounding the tunnel — the inner chamber — and the horizontal columns inside.
9. This place was bombed during the Turkish war
The battle between the Ottoman Empire and an alliance known as the Holy League brought devastation to the Parthenon. The temple was still used as a mosque when the Ottomans used it as an ammunition dump during the war. This was a disastrous choice, when the Venetians bombed the area, causing the ammunition to explode and severely damage the Parthenon and its sculptures.
10. Have a full and extensive copy available in the United States
You don’t have to go all the way to Greece to experience the Parthenon. There is a detailed replica located in Centennial Park – Nashville, Tennessee. Built in 1897 as part of the Tennessee Human Show, it features copies of Parthenon marbles directly cast from the original. In 1990, local sculptor Alan LeQuire installed a giant replica of Phidias’s Athena Parthenos, completing the reconstruction.
Here are some stunning images of Greek symbols and architecture
Editor: Thao Lee
According to: mymodernmet
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