We chose the Parthenon as our piece of architecture for our project because it was a significant part of Athens, which was the educational and philosophical center of the world in the time of the Ancient Greeks. Athens was also a very powerful Ancient Greek city-state, which is why its most important monument was even more important. The Parthenon reflected that power in its very design and its very essence.
The Parthenon was a temple, made by the ancient Greeks from the city-state Athens. The Parthenon was dedicated to Athena, Greek goddess of wisdom. The temple was dedicated to her because they believed she was the patron goddess of Athens. Athena was also called Parthenos by the ancient Greeks, hence the name “Parthenon” for the temple dedicated to her.
The Parthenon was the approximate center of Athens. It was built atop a steep hill, overlooking the rest of Athens. Its construction began 447 BC and ended in 432 BC, under the watchful eye of four people: Pericles, the leader of Athens at the time, the two architects, Iktinos and Kallikrates, along with the master sculptor Phidias. The Parthenon replaced an older temple of Athena, which historians call the Pre-Parthenon. The Pre-Parthenon was destroyed by a Persian attack in 480 BC. It was only by 447 BC that the Athenian government decided to rebuild it. The Pre-Parthenon, will you believe it, replaced an even older Parthenon, and remains of it are scarce. Historians don’t know much about it.
The Parthenon, as well as well as being used as a temple, was used as a symbol power to the Greeks. When you stood underneath the powerful columns it must have been in awe. It’s not every day that you get to look at a piece of pure beauty. It was one of the most impressive buildings on the Athenian Acropolis (a flat rock that had many impressive public buildings on top of it) , and was overall a general showoff for the Greeks.
As well as being a significant part of Athens, the Parthenon was a big architectural feat to be finished in fifteen years without the modern tools we have today. The actual temple had a total of eighty-six pillars (eight on both short sides, fifteen on both long sides, six more after the eight on the short sides, and twenty-five in the inside chambers) That were each handmade by carving a doughnut shaped part of the column, putting it on the ground, carving another doughnut, putting it on top of that, ect. In the middle of the temple stood a gigantic statue of Athena that was over eighteen feet tall that was also hand carved . In one hand, she held the goddess of health, Hygeia (hence hygiene). In the other, she held her bronze spear and her shield, Aegis (said to have the head of Medusa engraved into it, so as to ward off enemies). The statue had been covered in wax to make it look like flesh and decorated with gold and bronze, the result of that being a life-like, impressive piece of sculpting. The temple had many minor sculptures and drawings, but many of those were destroyed.
The Parthenon was then covered in colorful paintings, drawings, and decorated with bright colors. The roof may have been red, the frieze blue, the columns red and blue, and the sculptures would have been painted too. Unfortunately, all of that bright decoration has been lost to the ages.
Over time, the Parthenon was severely damaged, by both natural and unnatural causes. The major blow to this amazing building was when it was being used as a storage place for gunpowder, and it exploded. After that it started to look like an ancient ruin, like it should have a long time ago. The current Greek government is rebuilding it, hoping to restore it to its former glory. To farther emphasize the power of the Greeks at that time, the Parthenon held strong for most of the rough times it has encountered, and was made without the modern day tools we used to make things like the Empire State Building. It was invested in by the Greeks, and it paid off for a long time after they were dead.