Yes, it is. You can visit the Parthenon when you visit the Acropolis.
How much does it cost to visit the Parthenon in Greece?
When you by the ticket you pay not only for the Parthenon but for all the Acropolis. The entrance ticket is 20 euros but during the winter season between the 1st November and 31th March the ticket is reduced to 10 euros.
You can also buy a combined ticket for 30 Euros that includes:
the Acropolis and its Slopes
the Ancient Agora
The Roman Agora
The combined ticket is valid for 5 days.
Can you go inside the Parthenon?
No, you can’t go inside the Parthenon. The Parthenon area is surrounded by a division that doesn’t let you enter inside. Anyway you can walk all around the temple.
The Parthenon is a temple of the Doric order and was dedicated to Athena Parthenos.
Who built it and why?
The ancient fortifications, buildings and statues on the Acropolis were destroyed during the Persian occupation of 480 BC. After that period the acropolis ceases to be a fortress.
After the Victory of Marathon in 490 BC, Pericles wanted to celebrate the victory over the Persians and the political, economic and cultural primacy of Athens. For this reason the reconstruction of the Acropolis began and the city began to build on the Acropolis a temple for Athena: the Parthenon itself.
The Parthenon is the most important building of the programme of Perikles for the re-establisment of the Acropolis sanctuary.
The architects of the temple were Iktinos and Kallikrates. The renowned sculptor Pheidas collaborated with other sculptors to design and execute the big sculptural work of the decoration of the temple. He created also the 13 metres tall statue of Athena made by gold and ivory which stood inside the temple. The Parthenon was built in 447-438 B.C. and its sculptural compositions were completed in 432 B.C.
The Parthenon is the temple that Perikles wanted to erect on the Acropolis as a symbol of the victory of the greek union. It was the symbol of the passage from the old religious traditions of the individual communities to what we could call the religious ideology of united Greece.
The construction of a monument of unprecedented splendor was a way to affirm the ideological and political supremacy of Athens.
The Parthenon is a lasting symbol of ancient Greece and Athenian democracy, and certainly represents one of the largest cultural monuments in the world.
Why is the Parthenon important, special and famous? The Parthenon is so special for 3 main reasons:
what it symbolized
how it was built
the many fine works of Art
What the Partheon symbolized
Why is the Parthenon important, special and famous? The Parthenon is so special because first of all is the symbol of Athens democracy. It was built after the victory on the Persians who occupied Athens in 480 BC. It was built to celebrate the victory and Athens political, economic and cultural superiority.
How it was built
The Parthenon is unique for its proportion and for the way it was built.
The Parthenon is the final result of a long course of development of the Doric order, which had begun at least 250 years earlier. It is built from Pentelic marble. The precision with which the marble was worked is astonishing.
It comprises around 16500 pieces that are joined together perfectly. Yet most impressive of all is the indiscernible deviation from a strict geometric form to create the famous optical refinements. This was made to have the desired effect.
The lines of the crepisis of the entablature curve slightly upwards rather than being straight. The shaft of the columns also has a slight convex curve which becomes narrower at 2/5 of their height.
The corner columns of each side are a little wider than all the others. All the columns have a small inclination toward the cella. These and other alterations from strict symmetry and uniformity serve to instil an additional pulse into the building.
As you can well understand it wasn’t easy to get the exact best result and effect desired. This is a demonstration of the skill the Athenians had in maths and geometry.
Parthenon works of art
Why is the Parthenon important, special and famous? The Parthenon is unique for the richness and quality of its sculptures.
The Statue of Athena
The most precious statue in the Parthenon was the statue of Athena. The central part of the temple was divided into 2 sections: the eastern and the western.
The great gold and ivory statue of the goddess Athena was guarded in the eastern section. This magnificent work of art was made by the sculptor Pheidias and it was very big because it was about 13 metres tall. For all these reasons the statue of Athena was considered a masterpiece in antiquity. Unfortunately, this statue is now lost.
The frieze encircled the cella externally 12 metres above its base. It has a total length of 160 metres and is around a metre high. It was made by 115 bas-relief blocks with sculpture depictions of people and animals in motion represented, in a continuous way, all along the frieze.
The faces of the figures resemble each other but they have a great variety in their poses, movements and clothing. They are serious and calm, showing character, spirituality and pride. The horses of the procession are all shown in profile. Some walk quietly, others gallop, and others fight with each other. The head mane and tail give each horse distinct individuality.
The frieze was not only well graven but also well painted with rich colours that embellished the figures.
The statues in the pediments
Really noteworthy were the statues in the pediments. The pediments are the triangular areas formed by the sloping and horizontal cornices of the roof over the two narrow ends of the temple. The colossal sculptures of the Parthenon followed a specific theme. The east pediment depicts the birth of the goddess Athena and the west part depicts the conflict between Athena and Poseidon for the possession of Attica.
These statues were carved with the same care on the front side and on the back even if nobody would see the back of the statue. This was important because they were made as offerings to the gods and they had to be perfect.
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