Located atop the city of Athens upon the sacred table rock of the Acropolis, the Parthenon is one of the 11 site monuments dedicated to ancient Greek deities and a stunning example of Classical art. Of these structures, the Parthenon is one of the most recognised buildings in the world and is considered to be the epitome of the glory days of ancient Greek civilisation
Dedicated to the goddess Athena (from the Athena Parthenos or virgin Athena), the Parthenon was constructed between 447 and 483 BC. The Parthenon was the largest Doric temple completed in Greece, and the only one constructed entirely of fine, white Pentelic marble sourced from the quarries of Mount Pentelikos near Athens. Designed by Pericles, this masterpiece of ancient architecture is not only impressive in size; the temple is also remarkable for its perfect proportions. The size of the Parthenon was no doubt conceived as part of its role as the treasury of the Delian League, an alliance of cities formed to defeat the Persian army.
With the establishment of Christianity across Europe especially after 6AD, the Parthenon was dedicated to Parthenos Maria (Virgin Mary) then later renamed Panagia Athiniotissa (Virgin of Athens) and utilised as the city cathedral in the 11th century. Subsequent occupation by various foreign nations over the centuries lead to the demise and destruction of the Parthenon and, from 1801 to 1812, British Lord Elgin caused further damage by removing the sculptural decorations of the Parthenon and shipping them to Britain. The remaining sculptures, known as the Parthenon Marbles, are now housed in the New Acropolis Museum and, controversially, in the British Museum where they are dubbed the Elgin Marbles.
To visit the Parthenon, it's a six-minute walk from the Acropolis metro station to the Acropolis of Athens. Entry to the site is via Beaulé Gate, one of the Acropolis monuments. From here, the Parthenon is situated at the highest point of the Acropolis. Tickets to the Acropolis are €12 for adults and free for under-18s.