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Wonder #24 The Parthenon: Greece’s Masterpiece of Classical Architecture

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About The Wonder

The Parthenon is a magnificent ancient temple located on the Acropolis hill in Athens, Greece. This iconic structure, dedicated to the goddess Athena, who was regarded as the patroness of Athens, stands as a symbol of the glory of ancient Greece and is a paramount example of classical Greek architecture.

Location Map 

History Of The Wonder 

The Parthenon, built between 447 and 432 BCE during Athens' Golden Age, was dedicated to Athena, the city's patron goddess. Designed by architects Iktinos and Kallikrates and adorned by sculptor Phidias, this iconic temple has undergone significant transformations. It was converted into a Christian church in the 6th century AD, then into a mosque in the 15th century under Ottoman rule, and suffered major damage in 1687 from a Venetian attack. In the early 1800s, many of its sculptures, known as the Elgin Marbles, were taken to Britain and are now in the British Museum. Since the 1970s, extensive restoration efforts have been underway to preserve this architectural marvel, making it a key historical and cultural landmark for visitors.

How to Get There: Major Airports for Travelers Visiting The Parthenon

Main Airport: Athens International Airport (Eleftherios Venizelos Airport):
Location: About 20 kilometers 
Services: It is the primary international gateway to Greece, offering numerous flights from major cities around the world.

Transportation to Athens:
Metro: Line 3 (Blue Line) connects the airport to the city center, including Syntagma Square.
Bus: Express buses (X95, X93, X96, X97) run 24/7 between the airport and key locations in Athens.
Taxi: Available outside the arrivals area, taking around 30-45 minutes to reach the city center depending on traffic.
Car Rentals: Available at the airport for those who prefer to drive.

Getting to the Parthenon: Once in Athens, the Parthenon is easily accessible. 
Metro: Use Line 2 (Red Line) to Acropolis station, which is a short walk from the Acropolis hill.
Walking: The Acropolis is within walking distance from many central areas of Athens, including Syntagma and Monastiraki.
Tour Buses: Many hop-on-hop-off buses include the Acropolis as a key stop.

By using these travel options, visitors can conveniently reach the Parthenon and explore one of Greece's most famous historical landmarks.

Visa Requirements

Citizens of the United States do not need a visa for short visits to Greece. Greece is part of the Schengen Area, allowing U.S. citizens to stay for up to 90 days within a 180-day period for tourism or business without a visa. For visa information and application procedures, please refer to our "Apply for Visa" section on our website.

Accommodation Areas Near the Parthenon

When selecting accommodation near the Parthenon in Athens, consider these convenient areas that provide easy access to this historic landmark:

1. Plaka District
Description: Charming neighborhood with narrow streets, traditional tavernas, and proximity to major ancient sites.
Benefits: Walking distance to the Acropolis and Parthenon, lively atmosphere with shops and cafes.
Features: Close to the Roman Agora and Tower of the Winds, ideal for evening strolls.
2. Syntagma Square
Description: Central location with historic architecture, upscale shops, and dining options.
Benefits: Excellent transport links via metro (Line 2), direct route to the Acropolis.
Features: Nearby attractions include the National Garden and Greek Parliament building.
3. Makri Street Area (Near Acropolis Museum)
Description: Modern area near the Acropolis Museum, blending contemporary amenities with ancient ruins.
Benefits: Close proximity to the Acropolis entrance, convenient for evening visits.
Features: Accessible to the Odeon of Herodes Atticus and scenic views of the city.
4. Koukaki Neighborhood
Description: Residential area known for its local charm, relaxed atmosphere, and authentic dining spots.
Benefits: Quiet surroundings yet within walking distance to major attractions like the Acropolis.
Features: Nearby Filopappou Hill offers panoramic views of Athens and the Saronic Gulf.

Language 

Official Language: Greek is the official language of Greece.
Alphabet: Uses the Greek alphabet with 24 letters.

Currency

The euro (€) is the official currency used throughout Greece.

Best Time to Visit Greece

Spring (April - June):
Weather: Mild temperatures, blooming flowers.
Advantages: Fewer crowds, ideal for sightseeing and outdoor activities.

Summer (July - August):
Weather: Hot and sunny.
Advantages: Beach weather, vibrant nightlife, festivals.

Fall (September - October):
Weather: Warm days, cooler evenings.
Advantages: Pleasant weather, fewer tourists, good for hiking and cultural experiences.

Winter (November - March):
Weather: Cool to cold, occasional rain.
Advantages: Lower prices, fewer tourists, great for exploring historical sites without crowds.

Tips

Peak Season: July and August are busiest; plan early for accommodations.
Weather: Pack accordingly based on the season.
Local Events: Check for festivals and events to enhance your visit.

Souvenirs to Buy in Greece

1. Olive Oil: Known for its high quality and health benefits.
2. Greek Wine: Local varieties like Assyrtiko or Agiorgitiko.
3. Ceramics: Hand-painted pottery with traditional designs.
4. Bougatsa: Traditional pastry filled with custard or cheese.
5. Greek Honey: Rich in flavor, often infused with thyme or other herbs.
6. Komboloi: Worry beads made of amber, coral, or other materials.
7. Evil Eye Talismans: Blue glass charms to ward off bad luck.
8. Traditional Clothing: Such as handmade sandals or embroidered textiles.

Fun Facts About the Parthenon

1. Ancient Wonder: Built between 447 and 432 BCE in Athens, dedicated to Athena, the city's patron goddess.
2. Architectural Marvel: Designed by Iktinos and Kallikrates, adorned with sculptures by Phidias, representing classical Greek architecture.
3. Historical Transformations: Served as a church, mosque, and gunpowder storage; damaged in 1687 during a Venetian attack.
4. Elgin Marbles: Sculptures removed by Lord Elgin in the 19th century now housed in the British Museum.
5. Restoration Efforts: Ongoing restoration since the 1970s to preserve its cultural significance and architectural grandeur.

Activities

 

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