former temple of Athena on the Athenian Acropolis, Greece

The Parthenon is a temple in the middle of the Acropolis in Athens, Greece (Europe). It was a temple to honor the goddess Athena for nearly 900 years from the 5th century BC to the 5th century AD, and originally had a huge idol to her. It was a Christian church from the 5th century to the 15th when it became a mosque. The name Parthenon means the virgin's place in Greek.[1] It was built between 447 BC and 432 BC during the reign of Pericles.[1] It is considered one of ancient Greece's greatest architecture accomplishments.[1]

The Parthenon east façade

The building was constructed using limestone foundations and 22,000 tons of marble. The building was designed by the architects Ictinus and Callicrates.[1] It has 46 Doric columns which support the roof, with 8 across the front and back, and 17 on each side.[1]

In 1687 a gunpowder explosion damaged the building. Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin took some of the sculptures, now called the Elgin Marbles, from the Parthenon in 1759. They have been on display in the British Museum since 1816.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 "Parthenon - Credo Reference Topic". 2011. Retrieved 17 May 2011.