The temple is generally considered to be the culmination of the development of the Doric order, the simplest of the three Classical Greek architectural orders. In 490 B.C., the Athenians began building a large temple to Athena on the site, but they were still working on it when Persian forces sacked Athens a decade later, destroying the temple-in-progress along with nearly every other structure in the Acropolis. This icon of classical architecture perched atop the Acropolis has dominated the Athens skyline for 2,500 years. and its sculptural compositions were completed in 432 B.C. Dagli Orti/De Agostini/Getty Images. Although richly decorated on the outside with magnificent decorative sculpture, the most importa… Few monuments in the world are more recognizable than the Parthenon. LeQuire, a Nashville native, was awarded the commission to produce the Parthenon's cult statue. “Pericles himself claimed that Athens was ‘the school of Hellas,’ the school of Greece,” Hurwit says. Why is the Parthenon important, special and famous? The Temple of Athena Nike is devoted to Athena in her role as a warrior goddess who defended Athens. It was built in the mid-5th century bce and dedicated to the Greek goddess Athena Parthenos (“Athena the Virgin”). We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. The Parthenon is the temple that Perikles wanted to erect on the Acropolis as a symbol of the victory of the greek union. The Parthenon, Athens, Greece. DEA/A. After the Ottoman conquest in the 15th century, it was used as a mosque. By the time Greece won its independence in the 19th century, the buildings of the Acropolis were heavily damaged, but still standing. After the Victory of Marathon in 490 BC, Pericles wanted to celebrate the victory over the Persians and the political, economic and cultural primacy of Athens. “Athens under Pericles wanted to promote itself as the greatest of Greek cities,” says Jeffrey Hurwit, a professor emeritus of art history and classics at the University of Oregon and author of The Athenian Acropolis. The Acropolis was inhabited as far back as the Bronze Age, when the Mycenaeans built a large walled compound there to house one of their leaders. The Parthenon is a temple of the Doric order and was dedicated to Athena Parthenos.

HISTORY reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it is complete and accurate. Over some 50 years, the Periclean building program produced not only the large temple to Athena Parthenos (“Athena the Virgin,” in Greek), but the Propylaea, the gateway to the Acropolis, as well as two smaller temples, the Erechtheion and the Temple of Athena Nike. The Roman architect Vitruvius argued that such refinements were made to counter the effects of an optical illusion: When viewed from a distance, a perfectly straight line would appear to sag, whereas the temple’s curvature would counteract that illusion. For this reason the reconstruction of the Acropolis began and the city began to build on the Acropolis a temple for Athena: the Parthenon itself. Best cities in France and places to visit. But Hurwit suggests another, more artistically motivated reason for the refinements. In 447 B.C., after Athens led a coalition of Greek city-states to victory over the Persians, the great Athenian general and statesman Pericles ordered new construction at the citadel to begin. “There were several different Athenas who were worshipped on the Acropolis,” Hurwit explains. The Parthenon was apparently completed by 438 B.C., when a massive gold-and-ivory statue of Athena Parthenos was installed inside. His work was modeled on descriptions given of the original. The Parthenon is a lasting symbol of ancient Greece and Athenian democracy, and certainly represents one of the largest cultural monuments in the world. Ancient and modern observers alike have marveled at the sophisticated techniques used to construct the temple, which mixed the Doric and Ionic styles of classical Greek architecture to stunning effect. After 1,000 years as the religious center of Athens, the Acropolis was transformed into a Christian place of worship in the fifth century A.D., under the rule of the Romans and Byzantines. Rather than a settling of the blocks over time, this was an effect the temple’s builders deliberately created—through techniques like beveling or angling the blocks of the steps, tilting the columns slightly inward and making the corner columns slightly thicker than the others. It’s still the same goddess, but she was worshipped in different ways and in different guises.”. Day Trips From Milan: choose your best trip!

Constructed with impressive speed during a massive fifth-century building project at the hilltop citadel known as the Acropolis, the Parthenon was not only beautiful—it was built to last. Twice a week we compile our most fascinating features and deliver them straight to you.

The Parthenon in Centennial Park, in Nashville, Tennessee, is a full-scale replica of the original Parthenon in Athens. The Parthenon was built in 447-438 B.C. After that period the acropolis ceases to be a fortress. In addition, the columns have a slight swelling near the middle, known as entasis. Sorento Italy Amalfi Coast beautiful Things to do, Restaurants, beaches and…, Top 3 Best restaurants in Positano Italy with a view, Algarve Portugal: best beaches in Portugal. Its design is credited to two architects, Ictinus and Callicrates, as well as the sculptor Phidias. The Parthenon was apparently completed by 438 B.C., when a massive gold-and-ivory statue of Athena Parthenos was installed inside. All Rights Reserved. The Parthenon was built in 447-438 B.C. Sitting atop a limestone hill rising some 500 feet above the Ilissos Valley in Athens, this soaring marble temple built in tribute to the goddess Athena brings the glory of ancient Greece into the modern world. Construction of the Parthenon began in 447 B.C.

The name Parthenon derives from one of Athena’s many epithets: Athena Parthenos, meaning Virgin. The construction of a monument of unprecedented splendor was a way to affirm the ideological and political supremacy of Athens. The Propylaea, the gateway to the Acropolis, took even less time—just five years—to build. Parthenon means ‘house of Parthenos’ which was the name given in the 5th century BCE to the chamber (cella) inside the temple which housed the cult statue, and from the 4th century BCE the whole building acquired the name Parthenon. The ancient fortifications, buildings and statues on the Acropolis were destroyed during the Persian occupation of 480 BC. “It seems more active this way. It was the symbol of the passage from the old religious traditions of the individual communities to what we could call the religious ideology of united Greece.

The modern version took eight years to complete, and was unveiled to the public on May 20, 1990. He created also the 13 metres tall statue of Athena made by gold and ivory which stood inside the temple. It was designed by architect William Crawford Smith and built in 1897 as part of the Tennessee Centennial Exposition. It impressed people even in antiquity.”. It was the symbol of the passage from the old religious traditions of the individual communities to what we could call the religious ideology of united Greece. Though the Parthenon looks perfectly straight and symmetrical, in fact it is subtly curved, beginning at the foundation and running up through the steps, colonnade and even the roof. In all, construction took … That changed May 20, 1990, when the 42-foot-tall Athena Parthenos statue was unveiled to a crowd of thousands. © 2020 A&E Television Networks, LLC. and its sculptural compositions were completed in 432 B.C. FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. How much is it? If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. A modern copy by Alan LeQuire stands in the reproduction of the Parthenon in Nashville, Tennessee.