Parthenon Facts

Parthenon Facts
The Parthenon is a temple in Athens, Greece, that was built during the Athenian Empire rule in honor of the goddess Athena. Construction began in 447 BC and was completed in 438 BC however its decoration continued for 6 more years until 432 BC. There had been an earlier temple of Athena, now referred to as the Older Parthenon that was destroyed in 480 BC when the Persians invaded. The Parthenon that still exists today was built on the site of the Older Parthenon. In the 1460s the Ottomans invaded and the Parthenon became a mosque. On September 26th, 1687 the Venetians attacked the Ottomans and because the Ottomans had stored ammunition in the Parthenon, it ignited and was severely damaged. Efforts are ongoing to attempt to restore portions and preserve what remains.
Interesting Parthenon Facts:
The Parthenon is 45 feet tall, and its base is 228 feet by 101 feet. It sits on a hill called the Acropolis overlooking Athens.
The Greek goddess Athena was Athen's patron goddess. She was the goddess of wisdom, warfare, and courage.
The Parthenon is an example of Doric style, which is a simple style with a plainer column than other styles of architecture.
The designer of the Parthenon was Phidias, a famous scuplter, and the architects Callicrates and Ictinos supervised the construction work itself.
The roof and the interior of the sanctuary were destroyed in the third century AD by fire. In the 4th century AD the roof was replaced.
In 435 AD, after 1000 years as a temple dedicated to Athena, Theodosius II closed all the pagan temples.
In the late 6th century AD the Parthenon was converted to a Christian Church.
In 1456 the Turkish Ottoman Empire invaded and by the end of the century the Parthenon was converted to a mosque.
In 1687 when the Venetians attacked Athens, the Parthenon was severely damaged. The Ottoman's had been storing ammunition inside the temple and it suffered an explosion when a mortar hit.
The explosion in 1687 destroyed the Parthenon's roof, blew out the central portion of the building, destroyed many columns on all sides, and killed approximately 300 people.
Greece gained control of Athens on 1832, and all evidence of the Ottomans on the Acropolis was destroyed.
The first known photograph of the Parthenon was taken in October of 1839 and the mosque in the Parthenon still remained at that point.
Thomas Bruce, the 7th Earl of Elgin, removed several sculptures from the Parthenon supposedly by permission from 1801 to 1803.
The sculptures removed from the Parthenon by Thomas Bruce in the 1800s were sold to the British Museum. They are known as the Elgin Marbles and Greek government has been attempting to have them returned since the 1980s. The British government has refused to return them thus far.
Some of the sculptures from the Parthenon are on display at the Louvre in Paris, France, and in Copenhagen, while the majority are in Athen's Acropolis Museum.
Some efforts in the 1900s resulted in further damage because marble cracked when rust from uncoated stabilizing pins expanded.
Restoration is underway to restore and preserve the Parthenon.


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