Parthenon is a magnificent temple in Athens, Greece. It has become one of the major tourist attractions in the world. The rectangular white marble temple atop the hill of Acropolis, Athens. It is dedicated to the goddess Athena as it houses her shrine. Here are some amazing Parthenon facts that you never knew.
- The origin of the Parthenon temple’s name came from epithet Parthenos
The epithet Parthenos means “maiden girl” most appropriately “virgin woman”. It was dedicated to Athena who was a virgin lady and goddess of tactics, strategy and practical reason. Athena Parthenos was an epithet for Athena that meant “Athena the Virgin.” Parthenon was the name given to a chamber in the temple in the fifth century BCE. From the fourth century BCE, the whole building acquired the name the Parthenon that means “House of virgins”.
- Parthenon is not really a temple, yes that’s a real Parthenon Fact!
In the conventional sense, Parthenon is not really a temple although it is architecturally built like a temple. But actually, it was a shrine of Goddess Athena dedicated by the people of Athens who considered her as their patron.
- The colossal statue of Athena was not related to any cult
Parthenon consists of a 40 feet tall statue of goddess Athena which is known as “Athena Promachos” which means Athena, The Champion. But the statue does not represent any cult image. In fact, it is referred to be a gold treasure. Greeks also mention that there are many other treasures preserved inside the temple.
- The Parthenon is an enduring symbol of Ancient Greece
Did you know this Parthenon fact? It is one of the world’s greatest cultural monuments that represent Athenian democracy and western civilization. The artwork on the temple symbolizes the imperial power and influence of Athenian politicians as it was the largest and opulent than any other temple constructed in Greece before.
- Construction of Parthenon was completed in 438 BC but decorations continued till 432 BC
In 447 BC, the Athenian empire was a dominant power, they started construction of Parthenon that was completed by 438 BC but the people of Athens continued to decorate the temple for six years.
- Parthenon is a mosque and church in addition to the temple
The Parthenon has been fought over by different religions for centuries. It started as an Older Parthenon that was destroyed by Persian. It was reconstructed by the Athenian empire as a temple dedicated to goddess Athens. In 6th century AD, the temple was converted into a church by Christians dedicated. They dedicated their church to the Virgin Mary. In 1460, the church was converted into a mosque when the Ottoman Empire was at its peak. A minaret was added to the temple but no other modifications were made.
- Parthenon was blown up
In 1600, when the Venetians and Turks were fighting, Acropolis due to its high position was used as a powder magazine that blew up by a Venetian shell during the bombardment of Acropolis. This destroyed the whole building demolishing the internal structures. The sculptures suffered heavily and the left-over sculptures were sold by Turks who controlled Greece at that time.
These were the 7 Parthenon facts, if you know any others that I might have missed, let me know! If you also liked the post, share the love to make more! Looking forward to read your thoughts!