25 Fascinating Facts About The Parthenon

The Parthenon is a fascinating piece of Architecture. This magnificent temple on the Acropolis of Athens has been rocked by earthquakes, set on fire, shattered by exploding gunpowder, looted for its stunning sculptures, and defaced by misguided preservation efforts but quite amazingly still stands after nearly 2,500 years. Despite the Parthenon presenting no engineering breakthroughs in building construction, its stylistic conventions became the paradigm of classical architecture, and has continued to influence architecture. If you enjoy learning about breathtaking ancient architecture, you’re really going to appreciate these 25 Fascinating Facts About The Parthenon.

There is no architecture quite like the Parthenon. During its heyday, the Parthenon played a key role in Athenian life, as temple, artistic masterpiece, and national symbol, but in time the monument’s importance surpassed the narrow borders of its country and the world of architecture. The Parthenon became the symbol of antiquity and the “golden age of Athens” where democracy was born. However, despite being one of the planet’s greatest and most viewed cultural monuments–attracting millions of tourists every year from all over the world–not many know its secrets. So sit back, relax, because you are about to learn about a truly marvel of antiquity. These are 25 Impressive Facts About the Parthenon.

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The Acropolis of Athens, where the Parthenon is located, is also called “the sacred rock” and was built for defensive purposes. During wartime the Greeks used the Acropolis to get a better view of their enemies’ positions.

Acropolis of AthensSource: The Parthenon (Wonders of the World), Image: Wikipedia

Neolithic remains discovered on the slopes of the Acropolis indicate a continuous settlement on the hill from at least 2800 BCE, well before the Minoan and Mycenaean cultures that later gave birth to the so-called Archaic Greek.

Neolithic remains in AcropolisSource: The Parthenon (Wonders of the World), Image: commons.wikimedia.org


Long before the construction of the Parthenon the site had been a sacred place and seat of other temples. For that matter, the Parthenon itself replaced an older temple of Athena, which historians call the Pre-Parthenon, or Older Parthenon, that was destroyed in the Persian invasion of 480 BCE.

Old ParthenonSource: The Parthenon (Wonders of the World), Image: Wikipedia

The name Parthenon comes from one of Athena’s many epithets: Athena Parthenos, meaning “Athena the Virgin.” Parthenon means ‘’house of Parthenos,’’ which was the name given in the fifth century BCE to the chamber inside the temple that housed the cult statue. The temple itself was known as the ‘‘large temple,’’ which referred to the length of the inner cella: one hundred ancient feet. From the fourth century BCE the whole building acquired the name the Parthenon.

Goddess AthenaSource: The Parthenon (Wonders of the World), Image: Wikipedia


Construction of the Parthenon started in 447 BCE and was completed in 438 BCE but decorating the temple continued until 432.

Parthenon's decorationSource: The Parthenon (Wonders of the World), Image: Wikipedia

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