During As well as serving as a treasury and

the 5th century BCE, the construction of the Parthenon dominated any
other monumental structure surrounding it and signified the height of Athens. Located
on the highest part of the Acropolis, looking over the chaotic metropolis of
Athens, Greece, the Parthenon holds key pieces of history. Pericles directed
the project of the Parthenon which was built on top of an abandoned temple destroyed
by the Persians during the 2nd Persian War. Even some of the marble
elements were used on the Parthenon from the previous temple. The sole purpose
of the Parthenon was used to house to gold and ivory statue of Athena. But the
Parthenon also functioned as the treasury for the Delian League, a political
alliance of Greek city-states. As well as serving as a treasury and a house for
the goddess, the Parthenon also served as a religious temple. During the mid 5th
century BCE, Athens thrived in religion and the citizens on Athens focused on
their worship of multiple gods. Pericles provided a perfect place for citizens
to worship and further their religion. The Parthenon was built during the Age
of Pericles and after the Persian Wars. This is significant because the Greeks
during this time period prospered and their culture thrived in modern
architectural styles and art. Ictinus and Callicrates were the architectures who
worked on the Parthenon. While being directed by higher officials, the
Parthenon used forced labor in order to finish the construction. Pericles used
his power as a ruler to reside over the working groups below him. The multiple
functions of the Parthenon proved itself to be one of the most successful
buildings of its time.  

The Parthenon, being built during the
peak of the Athenian Empire, consists of multiple complex features which were
considered advanced during their time. Doric Architecture was the period in
which the Parthenon was built. Doric Architecture is seen in proportions and in
refined details, and it consists of straight elements. Doric style is seen in
the many columns in the Parthenon. The columns inclined in to give an illusion
that each individual column was straight which also made the Parthenon appear
lighter than the material which was used would advise. The floor is also not
exactly flat but rises six centimeters higher in the center giving a sense of
elongation. These innovative external features were used to fix optical
illusions that distort perfectly vertical profiles. As well as, helping with
draining and setting which shows the advancements made in Greece around the 5th
century. Next, the Parthenon’s frieze, a decorated band of marble just below
the roof, consists of carvings of combat between mythical figures, gods,
giants, and Amazons. The interior frieze shows a procession of Athenian
citizens and is designed to create the impression of the passage of time.

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Figures in the procession are posed in such a way that depending on the portion
of the frieze being views, time and motion seem to speed up or slow down. The
Cella is an interior room which divides into 2 parts, a large eastern portion
to house the statue of Athena, and the smaller room that served as the treasury.

The Parthenon also housed the magnificent statue of Athena. The statue of
Athena was made out of gold and ivory, stood forty-feet-tall, and sculpted by
Phidias. Athena’s pivotal role in the defeat of the Persians, allowed for the
statue to be dedicated to her in order to give thanks for her efforts. The
statue of Athena magnifies the importance of religion and allows for the citizens
of Athens to participate in religious rituals existing in the Parthenon. Phidias
showed the tension in the muscles and the sense of movement and emotions in the
figures he made, and this in particular was considered one of the most
magnificent pieces in its time. Each individual feature in the Parthenon complies
together to allow it to be known as an architectural advancement which would go
on to impact future makings of monuments.

            As one of the Greeks important
architectural monuments, the Parthenon depicts the religious significance and
political values during the pinnacle of the Athenian Empire. The Parthenon
reflects religious beliefs because the dedication of the building to Athena
because of her aid in the war shows the importance of polytheism in Athens (2.1.II.F).

Even though the Parthenon served as a treasury, its sole purpose was to house
to gold and ivory statue of their most respected goddess. The domination of polytheism
in Athens allows for the Parthenon to be regarded as a symbol of religious supremacy
in Athens. Also Greek architecture connected to the nature of political power
and hierarchy by showing the immense wealth the Greek government obtained in
order to sponsor these projects (2.1.II.E). The Parthenon included luxurious
imports such as marble and precious stone to intensify the building. This also
showed how hierarchy impacted society because the construction of the Parthenon
involved forced labor with a presiding official which overlooked the project. Athens
also serves as an urban center where religious rituals took place (2.2.III.A).

During the mid 5th century BCE, the city of Athens was undergoing a
golden age which permitted their culture to prosper and their religious centers
to thrive as well. The Parthenon allowed for the flourishing of their religion
because it served as a center for religious rituals. The Parthenon encouraged
Athens to continue to strive for a prosperous urban center by offering
religious rituals while also showing off Athens immense wealth.

            The Parthenon continues to be a World
Heritage site where tourists can examine the architectural and advance
refinements made during the peak of the Athenian Empire. Later in history, the
Parthenon was converted into a Christian church that Christians used to honor the
Virgin Mary. Years later, it was converted to a mosque. The Parthenon stayed mostly
intact till 1687 when it was converted to a Turkish powder-magazine where it
exploded due to an attack by the Venetians. Today, the Parthenon remains as a
highly visited site in Athens allowing travelers to see one of the most
magnificent monuments ever built. Also, the Greeks look back at the Parthenon
as a unique symbol of their thriving Greek culture. The Parthenon also had
enormous influence on the development of new architectural styles in Western Europe
and in North America. The symmetry, balance, innovative techniques, and
classical style appealed to many countries centuries later. This influence is
evident in the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C and in the United States
Supreme Court. Overall, the Parthenon reflects the achievements the Athens accomplished
and the influence the Parthenon had on monumental architectural styles
centuries later.