The Parthenon at the center of the Acropolis is one of the most famous landmarks in the Greek capital. The ancient temple, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with the Acropolis, is one of the most visited attractions in Athens.
In this complete guide to the Parthenon in Athens, you'll learn all about the magnificent temple complex, its history, and helpful information on how to get there, tours, and tickets.
What Can I Do at the Parthenon?
The Parthenon, an imposing temple of precious marble, has dominated the sacred rock of the Acropolis for over 2,500 years. The ancient monument is dedicated to Athena, the patron goddess of the city and is one of the most impressive structures in the Acropolis.
Although time has left its mark, the Parthenon has largely been preserved and offers you an insight into the impressive architecture of ancient Athens.
Visiting the ruins is a great way for you to visualize the splendor and glory of ancient Greece. The magnificent marble temple in the Doric style measures 70 x 30 meters, which means that the proportion and floor plan of the Parthenon correspond to the "golden ratio", the ideal aesthetic dimension of antiquity. Around the temple complex rise 50 classical columns, which are said to have once protected a 12 meter high statue of Athena.
Not much can be seen today of the elaborate sculptural decoration that adorned both the facade and the interior. A most magnificent 160 meter long frieze adorned the temple at the time of its construction. The procession of the Panathenaea and metopes, which decorated the outer entablature with mythological scenes, were depicted. Furthermore, the gable was provided with impressive sculptures. However, if you wish, you can admire the Parthenon frieze in the Parthenon Hall of the nearby Acropolis Museum, where a large part of the frieze and some of the original sculptures are kept and exhibited. The missing parts of the frieze are supplemented by concrete casts.
The mighty monument, which is also a popular motif for a number of Greece postcards, should be captured in many souvenir photos.
The visit to the Parthenon is usually combined with a visit to the Acropolis and the neighboring ruins. In our guide to the Acropolis you can find out which other impressive sites are located here.
Admission, Tickets and Guided Tours
How Do I Get to the Parthenon?
The Parthenon is in the middle of the Acropolis. You can get there on foot from many attractions in Athens. The nearest metro station is “Acropoli”. From here, Dionysiou Areopagitou Street leads to the Acropolis the quickest. With the bus line 230 (to "Akropolē") you have a shorter walk to the Parthenon. The Hop on Hop off bus tour, which stops at the A4 "Acropolis-Parthenon" station, is also very convenient.
Visitors arriving from Piraeus Port can go to the nearby Piraeus Metro Station and board the M1 line. A single ticket is sufficient for the journey to the “Thiseio” station. From there it is a 12-minute walk to the Parthenon. It's even easier with the hop-on hop-off bus tour, which has stops right at Passenger Terminal A (P1) and B (P2), and goes to stop P6 “Acropolis-Parthenon”. From there it is a short walk to the temple.
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
The Parthenon is generally open daily from 8am to 8pm (April-October) and daily from 8am to 5pm (November-March). The current opening hours can be found on the official website of the Acropolis.
The Parthenon is at the center of the Acropolis. The address is: Acropolis, Athens, 105 58
Due to its central location, the Parthenon on the Acropolis can be reached on foot from many of the city's attractions. Those arriving by public transport can use the nearest metro station "Acropoli" or bus line 230 (to "Akropolē"). The Hop on Hop off bus tour, which stops at the A4 "Acropolis-Parthenon" station, is also very convenient.
Visitors arriving from Piraeus Port can go to the nearby Piraeus Metro Station and board the M1 line. A single ticket is sufficient for the journey to the “Thiseio” station. From there it is a 12-minute walk to the Parthenon. It's even easier with the hop-on hop-off bus tour, which has stops right at Passenger Terminal A (P1) and B (P2), and goes to stop P6 “Acropolis-Parthenon”. From there it is a short walk to the temple complex.
There are no single tickets for the Parthenon. A visit to the temple is included in the entrance ticket to the Acropolis. Tickets are available at the ticket counters on site and in our shop. There is a single skip-the-line ticket for the Acropolis including a guided tour, as well as a combination ticket that grants access to the Acropolis, the Agora and the Olympieion, among other things.
History of the Parthenon
The Parthenon was built between 447 and 432 BC. and was made of Pentelic marble. The temple replaced the so-called Pre-Parthenon, a temple also dedicated to the goddess Athena and built in 480 BC. It was destroyed during the Persian Wars under the Persian King Xerxes I. Today's temple was finally built after the last Persian war as a thanks to Athena, the patron goddess of Athens and goddess of wisdom.
As the main temple on the Acropolis, the Parthenon was one of the most important sacred buildings in antiquity. Homage, offerings and special events took place here.
The Parthenon has served different purposes over time. The Attic League used the building as a treasury, in the 6th century it served as a Christian church and in the 17th century it was used as an ammunition store. During Ottoman rule in Greece, the Parthenon was converted into a mosque.
The building suffered serious damage in 1687, during the siege on the Acropolis by the Venetians. The Parthenon was shelled, causing the gunpowder stored there to explode. Surrounding buildings were also badly damaged.
At the end of the 18th century, part of the temple frieze and a number of sculptures were removed by Lord Elgin, the British ambassador in Constantinople at the time, and taken to England. Most of these are now on display in the British Museum in London.
After the end of the Ottoman occupation of Greece, the Acropolis was declared an archaeological site and all structures from the Middle Ages and the period of Ottoman rule, including a minaret, were removed from the Acropolis.
In 1834 the restoration process of the Parthenon began, which was repeated several times in the 20th century.
Today the temple is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Greece.
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