Tour the Parthenon While in Athens, Greece
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Although there is much to see in Athens, Greece, the Parthenon is one of those sites you won’t want to miss. It is visible from many points throughout the city, and it has such a rich history that you will want to spend some time learning about it. This temple dedicated to the goddess Athena is one of the finest surviving buildings from the High Classical age. It is considered both a masterpiece of Doric architecture and a symbol of Western civilization and it attracts millions of tourists every year. Here’s more information:
A Brief History Of The Parthenon
Historians believe the construction of the Parthenon began around 447 BC and was completed in 438 BC. The main people behind the design of the grand Doric temple were the general Pericles, the architects Ictinus and Callicrates, and the sculptor Phidias. The ancients used limestone as their foundation as well as 22,000 tons of pentelic marble to build this grand temple. Even though the Parthenon’s colors have faded with time, it’s still awe-inspiring to see this temple up close.
The Myth Behind How Athens Was Founded
In case you didn’t know, “Parthenon” means “virgin’s place” in Greek. That “virgin” refers to the goddess Athena, patron god of Ancient Athens. As the legend goes, two gods wanted to be the patrons of the city of Athens: the sea god Poseidon and the goddess of wisdom Athena. Poseidon offered the city control over the seas, but Athena offered Athenians the olive tree of peace. Ancient Athenians obviously decided to go with Athena’s peace offer. You can see a few of the magnificent friezes depicting the battles between Poseidon and Athena in this temple. Believe it or not, some Athenians say you can see a hole where Poseidon pushed his trident through the temple. Also, modern Athenians have replanted the olive tree where Athena supposedly offered her gift of peace.
Prepare Yourself To Visit Parthenon
The elevated location of the Parthenon commands attention no matter where you are in Athens. Walking up to the Parthenon is just as powerful an experience today as it was for the ancients. The mathematical perfection of this building shows off the Ancient Greeks’ understanding of harmony. The designers also used subtle effects like elongating certain columns to add dynamism to the structure. Take as long as you need to fully appreciate the craftsmanship of these ancient architects.
Important Facts For Tourists To Know
You can visit the Acropolis any day of the week. Hours change depending on season, so be sure to check for visitor-friendly times online before your visit. Tickets into the Acropolis are around €20 each. In addition to the Parthenon, be sure to check out important structures like the Erectheion and the Temple of Athena Nike nearby. The Acropolis is an active archeological site, so there’s plenty of historical buildings to tour once you’re up here.
So many of the great buildings in the Western world have been inspired by the Parthenon, including the US Supreme Court building in Washington, DC. See for yourself why so many Westerners have been inspired by this building’s power and perfect proportions. Once you see the Parthenon with your own eyes, you’ll understand why this temple has captivated the minds of so many people over the years.
Categorized in: About Athens, Greece, Greek Travel Guide
This post was written by Greek Boston
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