The Parthenon was an ancient Greek temple dedicated to the goddess Athena Parthenos. Currently the Parthenon is in ruins, but it remains a masterpiece of Greek architecture. It took 15 years to build the Parthenon, the Parthenon was built under the leadership of Pericles, and by the architects Ictinus and Callicrates. Greek artist Phidias supervised the design of the Parthenon.
The Parthenon is a large, rectangular marble temple with 17 columns along each of its sides and 8 columns on each end. It measured about 31 by 70 meters. The center part of the Parthenon was a chamber that had two rooms separated by a wall. Each room was entered from a porch at its end faced with columns. One room had a statue of Athena.
At the back of the central chamber was another statue of Athena made out of ivory and gold and was about 10 meters tall.
The goddess stood resting one hand on a shield and holding a winged statue of Victory in the other. Although the statue no longer exists, a description of it appears in writings of Greek author Pausanias from the 2nd century AD.
In AD 426 the Parthenon was converted to a Christian church and dedicated to Hagia Sophia (Greek for "holy wisdom"). Later, in 622, it was rededicated to the Virgin Mary. Changes were then made to accommodate worshipers inside the church. A bell tower went up at one corner. After Athens came under Ottoman Turkish rule in 1458, the Parthenon was converted to a mosque. The Parthenon suffered a lot of damage in 1687, when a Venetian general laid siege to Athens. At that time the Acropolis served as an Ottoman garrison, and gunpowder was stored in the Parthenon. A cannonball fired by the Venetians set off...