Last Updated: 6th Oct 2013
by – Matt Vernick, Tour Manager, Europe
The Parthenon (Not to be confused with the Pantheon of Rome or Paris fame) in the heart of Athens, Greece is one of the most famous symbols not only of Greece, but the entire classical period of history and democracy itself.
Crowning the Acropolis in the centre of the town and visible from almost everywhere in the city, the classical stylings of this now ruined building have been inspirations for countless buildings throughout history from Roman times to the present.
The non-linear architecture (there is not one straight line in the building) has also been a wonder and inspiration for mathematicians, architects, archaeologists, anthropologists, artists, designers and historians for thousands of years.
Originally a temple to all the Greek Gods, it was dedicated to the Greek Goddess Athena. The Parthenon is still under re-construction as it was blown to pieces by an explosion in the 1600’s. Over 100 years later the British Lord Elgin purchased what is now known as the Parthenon Marbles (friezes and sculptures from the Parthenon) that now reside in the British Museum in London, England. The Greek government now wants the marble back but the British won’t budge on the issue.
Checking out the Parthenon Marbles in London is a must for any history buff before they hit up Athens.
Contiki Tours visiting Athens include a guided tour of the Acropolis and the Parthenon