The temple was the first on Acropolis to have a fully Ionic order form. It has been dismantled to remove its friezes, which are now on display in the Acropolis Museum. These friezes depict several scenes such as- the deeds of Hercules and contains various sculptures like the statue of Moscophoros.
This temple is dedicated to Athena and was built in 447 BC which completed 9 years later. However, it took another 6 years to decorate the structure. It was constructed during the time when the Athenian Empire was at its most powerful.
The Parthenon is often called as “the world’s most perfect building.” It involves architectural tricks like a slight angling of the temple pedestal correct the optical impression that the building sags in the middle, and barrel-like curves on the columns counteract the illusion that they narrow in the middle.
One might say that the Parthenon’s perfection is only achieved through a series of deliberate imperfections. No doubt. The place is a living proof for Greek advancement in science, engineering and architecture.
Original Classical architecture
The Acropolis is one of the earliest known settlements in Greece. Built around the fourth millennium, the Acropolis is an ancient city that still retains its original Classical architecture and temples, including the Parthenon. The Parthenon was built between 447 and 432 BC as a sacred temple for the goddess Athena, and it’s a spectacular sight to behold. The entire complex of statues, temples, pillars, and structures is will just take your breath away.
In the 6th century, Christians converted the temples of Acropolis into churches. The Parthenon became a church that was dedicated to Panagia (Virgin Mary). It then became known as the Church of the Parthenos Maria.
During the Ottomans conquering, the city in the 1460s, the Parthenon was transformed into a mosque.
The Acropolis suffered extensive damage during the Morean War. The Parthenon was used to store gunpowder during this time, and it was hit by a cannonball when the Venetians lay sieged the area in 1687. The Turks had almost also demolished the Temple of Athena Nike to make space for a canon battery.
Temple of Athena Nike
Three main structural highlight of the Acropolis are the Parthenon, the Erechteion and the Temple of Athena Nike. The Parthenon, which means ‘the apartment of the virgin’, is dedicated to the Goddess Athena, who is also considered as the patroness of the city of Athens.
The Erechteion is believed to be located on the most sacred corner of the Acropolis Hill, and was also a place where all holy ceremonies linked to Goddess Athena and God Poseidon were held.
The Greek flag flying on the Acropolis has special historic significance. There is a bone chilling story – In 1941, two young men took down the swastika flag flying there during the Nazi occupation, leaving it empty. In an incredible way, they had reached the Acropolis using ancient passages and learned about them in Greek history books.
You can call it a powerful act of defiance that set the tone for the fierce Greek Resistance movement. Today, you can see the Greek Presidential Guard, the Evzones, perform a flag-raising and flag-lowering at dawn and dusk on Sundays.
Controversial Fact – In 1806, Lord Elgin took permission from the Ottomans and managed to remove some of the marble sculptures which survived the explosion. Which are now currently in the British Museum in London. Greece has tried very hard to try and get back the Marbles.