Among the most visited monuments of Greece, Parthenon stays as a popular temple structure situated in Acropolis, Athens. The remains of this beautiful temple, dedicated to the goddess Athena, tell that it is a perfect Doric-style temple having seventeen columns at the flanks and eight columns at the façade. No one who visits Greece ever leaves the majestic ruins of an ancient Greek temple out of their checklist! It's popular for its perfect sense of proportion and the stately white marble columns.
Temple of the Patron of Athens
One of the most beautiful elements of the structure is the metopes which are the attractive panels on the frieze. They are prominent in learning about the impressiveness of the sculptors. The western metopes depict the Athenian youths led by Theseus into the battle against the Amazons and the eastern ones illustrate the scenes of Olympian gods fighting the giants. On the southern side, there's a depiction of the marriage feast where a contest is being held between the Lapiths and Centaurs. On the northern side, the sacking of Troy has been shown.
2. Doric Columns
At either end, the structure has 8 fluted Doric columns and on each side, it has 17 such columns. The lines of the temple were cleverly curved to gain a perfect form and give the structure an optical illusion-like feel. The columns are a bit convex while the foundations a bit concave but the optical illusion makes them both look straight. The architectural sculptures, the friezes, and gilded pediments of the Parthenon were built by the sculptors Alcamenes and Agoracritos under the supervision of Pheidias.
3. Refined Architecture
All architectural refinements featured in the Parthenon are remarkable. Combined together, they give the temple structure a plastic, sculptural appearance. Among these refined elements are the indiscernible convexity of the columns and a thickening of the columns on the four columns juxtaposed against the thinning effect of being noticed from a particular angle.
The colonnade surrounds a walled interior rectangular chamber and consists of 17 columns on the north and south and 8 columns on the east and west. The walled chamber consisted of three aisles divided by two smaller Doric colonnades. The only source of the light into the chamber was the east doorway. Behind the chamber, there is another chamber, a smaller one in a square shape on the west.
5. Perfect Imperfection
Despite being an ideal Doric-style structure, Parthenon contains many Ionic elements as well which are visible, especially, through the interior frieze. The architectural refinements embodied by this stunning building perfectly correct for distortions in vision. The upward curvature of the case and other such elements are designed in such a way that creates a marvelous optical illusion. Take a picture from the perfect angle and you will have an amazing addition to your photo album.
How to Get Tickets?
Tickets to Parthenon costs 20 Euro and includes access two other historic tourist attracts nearby the Parthenon. You can purchase tickets from Parthenon's official website or directly from the main entrance of the site. Queues are mostly moderate and, therefore, you can expect getting the entry passes in some 10-15 minutes. However, online booking is recommended to bypass the line. Entry for infants is free.
How To Get Around?
You can walk around smoothly to explore everything the world-famous Parthenon has on offer. All major attractions are at walking distance from each other, and the pavements are well-built to provide you maximum comfort while moving around.
What Should I Wear?
While visiting Parthenon, you can wear whatever strikes your fancy. Jeans, shorts, skirts, leggings, casual shirts, etc. are all handy options depending upon the weather conditions. Summers here can be scorching, so prefer casual light clothing when visiting Parthenon during summers.
Best Time to Visit
Parthenon is open for visitors all year round, except for select holidays such as the New Year's Day. The best time to visit is from early-September to late-October. In summers, prefer visiting during morning or late afternoon hours when the temperatures are mostly comfortable, while in winters plan to visit at noon.
Will I Need a Guide?
You do not need a guide to reach or explore Parthenon in Athens. Moving around is comfortable and all the essential information is available on this website.
How To Get There?
For overseas visitors, Athens International Airport Eleftherios Venizelos, aka 'AIA', is the closest landmark. From within Athens, Uber, taxis and private cabs are all great modes of transportation.
Do not leave your little ones unattended at the museum. Tickets to Parthenon also include access to the Roman Agora, Temple of Olympian Zeus, and Tower of the Winds. Make sure you carry a small backpack with water and other stuff while visiting the stadium in the summer months.