Ancient Greek Parthenon Facts
Some ancient Greek architecture such as the Parthenon, in the city of Athens, dates back over 2000 years. The Parthenon sits on the Acropolis, a hill
where the city of Athens can be seen below. Phidias was the name of the famous sculptor who designed the Parthenon, which was built as a temple to the Greek goddess
Athena. Construction began in 447 BC on what is considered one of the greatest cultural monuments in history and it is easy to see why. When it was fully completed in
432 BC, it became known as one of the premier examples of Doric-style construction. The Acropolis and the Parthenon are surrounded by ancient ruins, including the
Plaka, an ancient neighborhood which is now home to a kid's museum and a musical instrument museum. There are so many interesting facts about this Greek treasure,
including its restoration which you can read about in the information below.
Ancient Greek Parthenon General Facts
- It is difficult to determine the exact size of the original Parthenon due to damage from fire and explosions, but it is believed to be about 111 feet (30.9 meters) by
228 feet (69.5 meters).
- A man named Phidias was the artistic director during the building of the Parthenon. He is generally regarded as one of the greatest sculptors of ancient Greece.
- The Parthenon was actually built over the site of another temple named Athena, often called the Pre-Parthenon. What could be salvaged from the temple was used in the
building of the Parthenon.
- The Parthenon has been a place of worship for many different religions throughout the years. It has been used as a mosque and a Christian church.
- Records from ancient Greece show that the single biggest expense in constructing the Parthenon was transporting massive stones from Mount Pentelicus to the Acropolis
This was a distance of about 9.9 miles or 16 kilometers.
Ancient Greek Parthenon Marbles Facts
- The Parthenon Marbles also called the Elgin Marbles are marble sculptures and pieces of architecture taken from the Parthenon and other buildings on the Acropolis by a
Scottish nobleman named Thomas Bruce.
- The Parthenon Marbles were collected between 1801 and 1812 and transported to Britain where they were eventually displayed at the British Museum.
- While serving as British Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, Thomas Bruce claimed he had received permission to remove the marbles. To this day where they truly belong
remains a point of controversy.
- The Parthenon Marbles account for half of the surviving sculptures of the Parthenon.
Parthenon Restoration Facts
- In 1975, Greece with the help of some European countries began a restoration process that would span many decades. Fire damage and every day pollution had taken a
toll on the one of a kind monument.
- There are 70,000 separate pieces that are original to the Parthenon. These pieces have fractured over time. Part of the problem is that iron pins, which rust, were
used in the construction of the Parthenon. They are being replaced with titanium pins that will never rust.
- Earlier restorations to the Parthenon were done incorrectly and many pieces were put in wrong places. A computer identification program has helped to correctly
place pieces where they belong.