Parthenon, Athens

Parthenon, Athens (must see)

Parthenon is the most imposing structure sitting at the very top of the Acropolis which still evokes a great deal of awe, particularly at a close range. It was built around 440 BC in gratitude to goddess Athena, patron of the city, for her blessings during the war with the Persians. Climbing to the temple, albeit not difficult as such, is a bit challenging in terms of taking care not to slip along the way. Still, the Parthenon is well worth it and is a great spot for taking pictures, given the panoramic views of Athens, the port of Piraeus and the Aegean Sea opening from up there.

The construction of the Parthenon was commissioned by Pericles, leader of the ancient Athens metropolis, while Phidias, a renowned master sculptor and mason, supervised its ornamentation. The building itself makes one of the best examples of Doric architecture in Greece; however, the sculptural embellishment is more of an Ionic order. Guides to the temple often use photos with an overlay showing what it looked like complete with roofs and all the other elements. The nearby Acropolis Museum is worth checking out, in this respect, to see the facade marble tiles and other decorations attesting to the grandeur of this site.

The Parthenon remained unchanged until the 5th century AD when it was converted to a church. Under the Turkish rule, it served as a mosque. In 1687, during the siege of the Acropolis by Francesco Morosini, the Parthenon was bombarded and largely destroyed. Another great damage to it came in the early 19th century at the hands of Lord Elgin of Britain, who looted much of the temple's sculptural decoration and sold it to the British Museum.

Despite that, the Parthenon remains one of the most important surviving architectural monuments of Greece and, over the years, has served an inspiration for many public buildings worldwide: parliaments, universities, museums, libraries and more. All the recent renovations of the Parthenon further reveal the timeless beauty of this masterpiece.

Why You Should Visit:
An imposing monument that still evokes a sense of awe when you see it close up. The views of the city from this point (one of the highest) are beautiful, too.

Tips:
Go to the Acropolis early in the morning – otherwise, you may spend 1-2 hours in the line.
There are two gates at the Acropolis. Make sure you enter and leave at different gates so you don't miss anything.
You will save money by buying a combination ticket which also covers Odeon of Herodes Atticus, Theater of Dionysus, Temple of Olympian Zeus, and Ancient Agora of Athens.

Opening Hours:
Mon: 11am-7:30pm; Tue-Sun: 8am-7:30pm (Apr-Oct); Daily: 8:30am-3pm (Nov-Mar)

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Athens. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Parthenon on Map

Sight Name: Parthenon
Sight Location: Athens, Greece (See walking tours in Athens)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Athens, Greece

Create Your Own Walk in Athens

Create Your Own Walk in Athens

Creating your own self-guided walk in Athens is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Athens Introduction Walking Tour

Athens Introduction Walking Tour

Athens is one of the oldest European cities, widely regarded as the birthplace of Western Civilization. Its history begins in the Neolithic period between 4th and 3rd millennium BC. The first settlement on the site of Athens was situated on the rock of Acropolis which means “high city” in Greek.

According to the Greek mythology, the name “Athens” emerged from a competition between the...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.2 Km or 2.6 Miles
Athens Food Walking Tour

Athens Food Walking Tour

Traditional Greek cuisine is one of the healthiest in the world, and prices in all but the flashiest establishments afford excellent value. The prevalence of vegetable and dairy dishes makes eating out a delight for non-meat eaters. Carefully selected appetizers (tzatzíki, dolmádes, kalamarákia) can constitute a full meal. Greece’s most famous slow-cooked oven dish, however, is probably...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 Km or 1.4 Miles
Plaka Attractions Walking Tour

Plaka Attractions Walking Tour

In the shadow of the Acropolis stands Plaka, the most picturesque and oldest district of Athens, with continuous habitation from antiquity until today. The “neighborhood of the Gods”, as it is called, is like a romantic, atmospheric trip to old Athens adorned with antiquities, historic 19th-century buildings, museums and Byzantine churches.

From the vibrant Syntagma Square walking down...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.6 Km or 2.2 Miles
Walking Around the National Garden

Walking Around the National Garden

The National Garden is an impressive, historic park in the center of Athens, complete with artificial streams and duck ponds. Formerly known as the Royal Garden, it was commissioned by King Otto’s queen, Amalia, in 1838, reason why it is located directly behind the Old Palace (currently the Greek Parliament building). Not only is it a welcome refuge from the swirl of traffic just outside the...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 Km or 2.1 Miles
Walking Tour Around the Legendary Acropolis

Walking Tour Around the Legendary Acropolis

Also called "the sacred rock", the Acropolis was home to temples and sanctuaries throughout recorded history, and is a symbol of the city of Athens. Its religious importance was paramount to the ancient Greeks, and the buildings on the summit still capture the essence of their classical architecture. You can see the temples from most parts of the city, which adds to the feeling that this...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.0 Km or 0.6 Miles

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