The Parthenon
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Architect Ictinus and Callicrates with Phidias
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Location Athens, Greece   map
Date -477 to -438   timeline
Building Type temple
 Construction System bearing masonry, cut stone
Climate mediterranean
Context ceremonial complex
Style Ancient Greek Doric
Notes On the historic Acropolis. Doric exemplar.


Photo, main facade

Photo, side collonade

Photo, nearby overview


Detail Drawing

Detail Drawing

Elevation Drawing

Plan Drawing

Section Drawing

Section Drawing

Plan Drawing

Perspective Drawing

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Discussion The Parthenon Commentary

"The Parthenon...enjoys the reputation of being the most perfect Doric temple ever built. Even in antiquity, its architectural refinements were legendary, especially the subtle correspondence between the curvature of the stylobate, the batter, or taper, of the naos walls and the entasis of the columns."

— John Julius Norwich, ed. Great Architecture of the World. p63.

"The temple stands on the conventional three steps, below which the foundation platform originally created for its predecessor remained visible on the west, south and east sides of the building...The cella consisted of two rooms end to end with hexastyle prostyle porches...Inside the colonnades, towards the end, there stood the gold and ivory statue of Athena Parthenos, the work of Phidias, representing Athena fully armed with spear, helmet, aegis and, accompanied by a snake, and holding in her extended right arm a statue of victory. The ceiling was of wood, with painted and gilded decoration. Light was admitted, as normally in Greek temples, only through the doorway when the great doors were opened."

— Sir Banister Fletcher. A History of Architecture. p112.


Dimensions of the temple at the top step are 30.9 m x 69.5 m (101 x 228 ft). The steps were 508 mm (20 in) high, "too high to use, so intermediate steps were provided at the centre of each of the short sides."

The eastern room was 29.8 m long by 19.2 m wide (98 ft x 63 ft), with internal Doric colonnades in two tier, structurally necessary to support the roof timbers.

On the exterior, the Doric columns measure 1.9 m (6ft 2in) in diameter and are 10.4 m (34ft 3in) high, approximately 5 1/2 times the diameter. The corner columns are slightly larger in diameter, with their spacing reduced to make it possible for the frieze to conform to the rule that it must terminate with a triglyph.

The stylobate has an upward curvature towards its centre of 60 mm (2 3/8 in) on the east and west ends, and of 110 mm (4 5/16 in) on the sides.

In the late sixth century the Parthenon was converted into a Christian church, and from about 1204, under the Frankish Dukes of Athens, it served as a Latin church, until in 1458 it was converted by the Turkish conquerors into a mosque.

— details based on Sir Banister Fletcher. A History of Architecture. p112, 116.

Sources on The Parthenon

Werner Blaser and Monica Stucky. Drawings of Great Buildings. Boston: Birkhauser Verlag, 1983. ISBN 3-7643-1522-9. LC 83-15831. NA2706.U6D72 1983. plan and elevation drawings, p23.

Roger H. Clark and Michael Pause. Precedents in Architecture. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1985. concentricity diagram, p203. reduction diagram, p213. — Updated edition available at

Howard Davis. Slide from photographer's collection. PCD 2260.1012.0405. PCD 2260.1012.0405. PCD 2260.1012.0405.

Sir Banister Fletcher. A History of Architecture. London: The Butterworth Group, 1987. ISBN 0-408-01587-X. LC 86-31761. NA200.F63 1987. east elevation drawing, fig d, p114. discussion and details, p112, 116. — The classic text of architectural history. Expanded 1996 edition available at

Great Cities of the Ancient World : Athens & Ancient Greece. 1994. VHS-NTSC format video tape. ISBN 6303298591. — Video - Available at

G. E. Kidder Smith. Looking at Architecture. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Publishers, 1990. ISBN 0-8109-3556-2. LC 90-30728. NA200.S57 1990. context photo, p18, close-up, 19.

Seton Lloyd, Hans Wolfgang Muller, Roland Martin. Ancient Architecture, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Crete, Greece. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1972. photo of south ambulatory, f394, p287.

John Julius Norwich, ed. Great Architecture of The World. New York: Random House, 1975. ISBN 0-394-49887-9. NA200.G76. discussion p63. Reprint edition: Da Capo Press, April 1991. ISBN 0-3068-0436-0. — An accessible, inspiring and informative overview of world architecture, with lots of full-color cutaway drawings, and clear explanations. Available at

Russell Sturgis. The Architecture Sourcebook. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1984. ISBN 0-442-20831-9. LC 84-7275. NA2840.S78. plan drawing of the Parthenon, p118.

Marvin Trachtenberg and Isabelle Hyman. Architecture, from Prehistory to Post-Modernism. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1986. photo p90. — Available at

Doreen Yarwood. The Architecture of Europe. New York: Hastings House, 1974. ISBN 0-8038-0364-8. LC 73-11105. NA950.Y37. perspective drawing of acropolis, f29, p13. perspective drawing showing entablature, f23, p11. elevation drawing showing doric order, f13, p10. no image credit.

Great Buildings Model Kit : Great Buildings of the World. Julian Bicknell, Steve Chapman (Contributor). Clarkson Potter(June 1995). ISBN 0517883503. — A kit book with detailed pre-cut scale models of four famous buildings: Monticello, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Taj Mahal, and the Parthenon. available at

Kevin Matthews. The Great Buildings Collection on CD-ROM. Artifice, 2001. ISBN 0-9667098-4-5.— Available at  Find books about The Parthenon


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