There the classical period (447 BCE and was completed

There are several well-known
sculptures, monuments, paintings, and other forms of art in the world, let
alone in Greece. They all serve different purposes from temples, to churches,
to theaters, and some might even be a point of history that tells a story. For
example, in the United States we have the twin towers in New York City. These
buildings represent the tragic crash that occurred in 2001—we now have a 9/11
memorial in honor of the people who have died and to remember what was. In
Greece, one of the most well-known structures is the Parthenon which tells a
story about the hardships Greece had once encountered.

            The Parthenon was constructed during the classical period
(447 BCE and was completed in 432 BCE after all exterior continuation) (“Parthenon”).
Greeks were very into the mathematical equations to make everything look a certain
way and to reflect their own design/styles. They tend to believe that math is
the thing that holds all separate parts together. This is why the Parthenon is
made of approximately 13,400 stones and is not just all one continuous
structure (“Parthenon”). Looking at the columns of the structure one can really
see where they set new stones. One may think concrete would have been an easier
alternative; however, Greece did not have access to that kind of material
during this era. The structure was built on the hill of Acropolis in Athens
which is named after the patron goddess Athena. Because the Parthenon was built
in the city of Athens by Ictinus and Kallicrates, it was in dedication of the
goddess Athena Parthenos, hence the name of the structure and the large marble
statue of her inside (“Greek Architecture”).

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            There are three main types of columns Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian.
Being a temple of the Doric order means that the highest point of the column
consists of a ‘simple capital’. Ionic order is known for the spiral scroll at
the head of the column. Lastly, the Corinthian order has details of acanthus
leaves (“Greek Architecture”). Although the Parthenon is of Doric order, it
also has elements of Ionic orders making it a ‘Doric peripteral temple’
(Silverman, 3). Since the temple was of Doric order, it also consisted of triglyphs
and metopes and not just the ‘simple capital’ head. Triglyphs were three
vertical grooves and metopes were an element that fills the space between two
triglyphs. Metopes were sometimes placed over the colonnades and they were each
relief carved and had different representations. On the east side of the
Parthenon it represented a battle between gods and giants, on the south side it
represented the Greeks and centaurs and lastly, on the west side it represented
the Greeks and Amazons (“The Parthenon’s Many Lives”).

            Thinking about all of the functions of this wondrous
building, the list goes on. The Parthenon is traditionally known as an ancient
temple. Besides the purpose of the temple, Opisthodomos (rear room of the Parthenon)
served as a treasury of the Delian League, the Parthenon served as an ammunition
store, and an army barrack as well (The Parthenon’s Many Lives”). “The Delian
League is better known as the Athenian League and this was a union of Greek
city-states to free eastern Greek cities from Persian rule” (Cartwright, 1).  In the sixth century, the Byzantines transformed
the temple to a Christian church. One of the main changes that occurred during
this transformation was the entrance of the building. In traditional Christian
churches, churchgoers enter from the west—the main entrance of the Parthenon
was on the eastern side (“The Parthenon’s Many Lives”). Due to this, the
Byzantines boarded up the eastern entrance. For people to enter the Parthenon
is generally unheard of for the Greeks let alone having individuals enter from
the western point of the temple/church. The Parthenon was actually made to be
seen at an angle rather than to be entered (although there was an entrance to
the building when it was a temple) (“Greek Architecture”).

            After the Parthenon became a church, it lasted for
another era. It soon got captured by the Turkish Ottoman Empire in 1458 (“The
Parthenon’s Many Lives”). In 1460 the Turks ended up adopting the Parthenon as
a mosque (“Parthenon”). A mosque is a place where Muslims go to worship. Because
the Parthenon was previously a Christian church, the Christians renovated it
with styles of their own. Since the Christians made their church a place of
worship, Muslims worshipped under several pieces of Christian paintings and a
large mosaic of the Virgin Mary (“The Parthenon’s Many Lives”). Time went on
under the Ottoman Empire and in 1687 Acropolis became a battleground. Venetians
began fighting the Turks to gain control over the Parthenon. During this attack,
a powder magazine was lit by the Venetians and this caused a major destruction
of the center of the structure and even damaged its sculptures inside (“Parthenon”).

Eventually,
Greece had enough and wanted to gain their freedom back from the Ottoman Empire;
trying to gain their freedom back sparked the War of Independence which was
fought right on the hill of Acropolis. After this war took place, looking at the
exterior of the Parthenon (with the exception of the boarded up main eastern
entrance), not many thought it looked as it originally did back in the fifth
century. After examining the structure, archeologists believe that Turkish
soldiers removed hundreds of stones from the building to make a defense or
maybe even broke the stone to make bullets. Although the Greeks struggled to
escape this empire, in 1829 they did receive the freedom they wished for (“Parthenon”).

Due
to the Parthenon gaining their independence back from the Turkish Ottoman
Empire, the Parthenon stands as a temple once again. Today, just the exterior
of the structure remains while there is continuous construction being made to
help this historic piece live on. Sculptures from the Parthenon are all over
the world. Elgin Marbles are at the British Museum in London, and other
sculptures are in Louvre Museum in Paris, and some are in Copenhagen, Denmark. Since
the Parthenon was based in Athens, Greece, several sculptures are still placed
here and are available for the public eye.