Parthenon

Parthenon dominates the Acropolis . This temple was the main in Athens and was dedicated to the patron of the city and Attica - the goddess Athena.

Today's Parthenon is not the first building on this site. More ancient temple, built by Peisistratos, was destroyed by the Persians in 480 BC like all other temples of the Acropolis.

Restoration of the temple or rather its new building began in 449 BC during the reign of the great Pericles. Construction has been led by architects Iktinos and Kallikrates and general decoration was entrusted by Phidias who was a friend of Pericles and his adviser on arts. Also Phidias was the author of all of the sculptures and friezes that once decorated the Parthenon.

Parthenon photos

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Interestingly that Phidias and Pericles were accused by the Athenians in the immodesty, because in the one frieze depicting the battle of Greeks and Amazons, Phidias has depicted himself and his friend Pericles.

Parthenon was in good condition until the Romans arrived to the Athens. And then the Romans began the looting from the Parthenon and brought some of the statues to the Rome.
During the reign of Byzantine Emperor Justinian, it was decided to rework all the churches in the Christian. Parthenon was transformed to the temple of Hagia Sophia. During the Fourth Crusade the Crusaders continued to rework the Parthenon and transformed Parthenon to the Catholic church.

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But the most serious destruction of the Parthenon happened during the Turkish rule over Athens. First, by the Turkish authorities Parthenon was converted into a mosque the minaret has attached to it and then they adapted the Parthenon to a gunpowder store. In 1687 during the storming of the Acropolis by the Venetians the projectile caught in the Parthenon igniting gunpowder stored there and as a result of the explosion Parthenon was turining into a heap of ruins.

In 1802, the British ambassador in Constantinople, having received permission of the Sultan, brought back from the Acropolis all that it seemed valuable.

Currently the Parthenon as well as all around the Acropolis is actively undergoing restoration. The plans are to approximate the Parthenon to the state in which it was in ancient times. The marble needed for restoration work is delivering exclusively from the same quarry from which it was taken in ancient times.