The Parthenon was a temple to the patron goddess of Athens, Athena. Locatedatop Athens’s Acropolis, the Parthenon was an architectural masterpiece. Itwas constructed between 447 and 432 BCE by the Greek sculptor Phidias and theGreek architects Ictenus and Callicrates. It the largest temple in Greece.However, subtle elements used in the construction create amazing effects. Allof the 46 massive stone columns lean inward slightly, the flutes on the columnstaper off a bit near the top and the columns get thinner near the top. Whenused together these elements create the illusion of “upthrusting motion”.
Theillusion is most effective from a distance, when seen in contrast to the wall ofthe Acropolis. The Parthenon was made of white marble from Mount Pentelicus(however over time the marble’s color has changed to a light yellowish beige).It stands approximately 60 feet high and has an area of 30,030 feet. TheParthenon contains two rooms. One room served as a treasury and the other oncecontained a large statue of Athena.
Perhaps the most dramatic feature of the Parthenon was the sculpture by Phidias.Since the temple was a tribute to Athena, the sculpture centered around her. Thewestern side of the roof depicted the battle between her and Poseidon overcontrol of Athens. The eastern side depicted her birth. On the outer wallabove the columns there were 92 metopes (sculptured panels) depicting battlescenes involving heroes and gods. They included the Trojan war, the Greeksfighting the Amazons, and the gods against the Titans.
Along the walls of theenclosed room of the Parthenon a festival honoring Athena was shown, depictingthe men and women of Athens. The Parthenon focused on Athena and the greatnessof the city of Athens.The Parthenon shows the architectural innovation ad nd the artistic genius ofthe Athenians. It shows the spirit and culture of Athens and is a history initself. Category: English