10 Facts About the Parthenon

The Parthenon, as it looks today.
The Parthenon, as it looks today.

The Parthenon was built in the 5th century BC by the Athenian Acropolis. It is a temple to the Greek goddess Athena. The Parthenon is currently undergoing a restoration and reconstruction process. Today the Parthenon is recognized as one of the worlds most treasured cultural monuments.

1. Symbol of ancient Greece and of Athenian democracy

The Parthenon remains an important piece of history today because it stands as a symbol of both ancient Greece and of the age of Athenian democracy. Although some consider there to be both an old and a new Parthenon the history of the Parthenon is part of its appeal.

2. High point of Greek art

The many decorative sculptures that adorn the Parthenon are considered to be the highest forms of Greek art. The master artists of the time were commissioned to sculpt and paint the Parthenon art that can still be enjoyed today.

3. The Parthenon replaced an older temple of Athena

There is a first Parthenon that is called the Pre-Parthenon or Older Parthenon. This Parthenon was destroyed in the Persian invasion of 480 BC. What could be saved from the old Parthenon was then used in the re-building of the Parthenon that we see today (with the exceptions of the portions of the Parthenon that have been restored or repaired).

4. An ancient treasury

Like most Greek temples, the Parthenon was originally used as a treasury. The Parthenon originally served as the treasury of the Delian League. The Delian League would later became the Athenian Empire.

5. A place of religion

The Parthenon has housed several different religions. In the 6th century AD, the Parthenon was converted into a Christian church. In the early 1460s, it was converted into a mosque.

6. The Venetian bombardment

On the 26th of September in 1687 an Ottoman ammunition dump that was being housed inside the Parthenon, was ignited by Venetian bombardiers. Naturally, the resulting explosion severely damaged the Parthenon and its sculptures.

7. Metopes

The metopes on the Parthenon are sculptures that are very detailed in their representation of human anatomy. Extreme detail in the sculpting of the heads and even the veins in the muscles of the figures make these sculptures unique. While many of the metopes on the North side of the Parthenon were damaged or destroyed, some still remain either on the edifice or in a number of different museums including the Louvre.

8. Frieze

The Parthenon is decorated with a Frieze that runs around the exterior walls of the building. The frieze was carved in situ and can be dated back to 442 BC-438 BC. The Frieze depicts an interpretation of the procession from the Dipylon Gate in the Kerameikos to the Acropolis. The procession occurred every year and was meant to honor the goddess Athena.

9. Pediments

The Pediments of the Parthenon are sculptures that are found on the East and West gable ends. The Pediments are meant to reflect the birth of Athena and the contest between Athena and Poseidon that took place as they were fighting for the honor of becoming the patron of the city. Some of these pediments were destroyed prior to 1674 when drawings could be made of them and today the pediments no longer exist.

10. Reconstruction of the Parthenon

The restoration of the Parthenon began in 1975 when the Greek government began to make a concerted effort to restore their Acropolis structures. A committee was assigned the task of restoration in 1983. Funding and technical assistance was requested, careful records were kept, computer models were used, and many other techniques were employed in order to maintain as much of the historical integrity of the building as possible.

Learn more with these Parthenon websites.

Cite This Page

"10 Facts About the Parthenon." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 3 Mar. 2009. Web. 1 Sep. 2015. <http://www.surfnetkids.com/go/65/ten-facts-about-the-parthenon/ >.

The Parthenon (Wonders of the World)
The Parthenon (Wonders of the World)
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The Parthenon Enigma: a New Understanding of the West s Most Iconic Building and the People Who Made It.
The Parthenon Enigma: a New Understanding of the West's Most Iconic Building and the People Who Made It.
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The Parthenon Sculptures
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  • http://theparthenon alix still

    i think this is a good website but i think it needs a bit more information like when it was mad? who mad it ? the lenght of it the size the heght that kind of stuff
    thanks for the help alix still

    • Jourdan

      I agree just go to wikipedia

  • http://google.com Jamie

    This has really helped me a lot. I have this school assignment that is due tomorrow, so this has really helped. Thanks.

  • Phoebe

    I think this has relly helped me but i would have liked to have seen about the romans destroying it i think thats it anyway it helped me alot

  • Anna

    It doesn’t tell me when this information was put on this website and I need to know.

    • joshua

      this website helped me alot at scool so ty

    • joshua


  • joshua

    what the heck is a metope

  • joshua

    hello is anyone there hello…

  • blazing blue eyes

    it sorta helped with my assignment due tomorrow but i just hope i get a good grade but thanks annyway

  • Lucas

    A guy named Phidias made it and the foundation (bottom part) was made of marble while the rest of it was made of limestone.

  • Kitty Hawk

    I needed more stuff about it. Not very helpful…

    • Destiny

      I agree MORE INFO!!!!!

  • Queen Dr Ms Lady Duchess

    I need to put it in my bibliography and so I need to have when it was published and the author and the publisher and all that

  • http://www.surfnetkids.com Charlene

    Love this website! This website rocks!

  • iloveyouu24/7

    this helped alot but it needs more info on it
    but thanks guys for the little info that helped me

  • helpful me!

    the parthenon was built around the 5th centuary
    it took them 8 yrs to build it
    it cost 8$ million
    made out of pure marbel
    it once held statues

  • Joe Hobo

    work on the spelling dude.

  • riya20029

    this website is pretty cool if it just shortens the facts i mean that is not 10 facts its like 70

  • me

    it helped a bit

  • Alex

    this really helped me get through things 😀 luvyas

  • Anonymous

    This Website need more USEFUL facts about the parthenon. I wanted facts about the construction of the parthenon and you give me facts about converting into a Christian church. So im going to go wiki style because I need some USEFUL facts about the parthenon.

  • Nyan Cat is Awesome!!!!

    I think this is too long.

  • kaitlyn

    I dont think it is long I need this for my project for school

  • Enja Maureen Gabrielle Mercado

    it’s a sculpture with a very detailed representation of the human anatomy.what’s very unique is that it has extreme detail especially the face ,the veins,muscles etc.bcuz other sculptures dont have those kind of details :) also,The Metopes of the Parthenon are a series of marble panels, originally 92 in number, on the outside walls of the Parthenon in Athens,Greece, forming part of the Doric frieze. The metopes of each side of the building had a different subject, and together with the pediments, Ionic frieze, and the statue of Athena Parthenos contained within the Parthenon, formed an elaborate program of sculptural decoration. Fifteen of the metopes from the south wall were removed and are now part of the Parthenon marbles in the British Museum, and others have been destroyed. hope it helped :)

  • Alex

    Is any one there

    • http://www.barbarafeldman.com/ Barbara Feldman


  • TARDIS 101


  • destiny

    I need this for a project for school and this helped a lot!!!