8 fascinating facts about the Parthenon, the ‘cultural icon’ from Ancient Greece

Architectural Facts –
1) Parthenon had multi-colored facades 

While modern media depicts Greek temples and structures as having gleaming white facades, it is actually the opposite that was true. To that end, the Parthenon was probably quite colorful (if not colorfully loud) in its ancient state.


Of course, the visual vibrancy had lost its shine due the rigors of the longs years that have passed. Furthermore, scientists and historians also believe that the rising smogs levels from present day cosmopolitan Athens are also harmfully affecting the marble.

2) Parthenon had a wooden roof

Since we had brought up marble, the imposing columns and expansive pediments and entablature above them were indeed constructed from solid marble. However, the (now non-existent) roof of the Parthenon was entirely constructed from a timber arrangement.


This was the only feasible way, as a marble roof structure would have put immense pressure on the supporting members of 46 columns, which could have caused the building to collapse.

3) Parthenon’s design is earthquake-resistant!

While the Parthenon is often considered as the greatest example of surviving Doric-style architecture, the simplicity of the building’s form and plan is deceptive to say the least, courtesy of architect-extraordinaire Iktinos.

Parthenon_human perspective

For example, the columns of the temple subtly lean inwards to the structure that makes the perspective easier for a human when he views them on an upward angle. In spite of this calculated arrangement, the Parthenon boasts of a very fine parabolic upward curvature that allows the monument to decisively shed rainwater while also reinforcing it against earthquakes!

4) Parthenon has depictions of the heroes of Battle of Marathon

It has been suggested by a few contemporary historians (including art-historian Sir John Boardman) that the frieze (above the Doric columns) of the imposing structure of Parthenon depicts the 192 Greek warriors who fell in the Battle of Marathon, against the Persians in 490 BC.


There is a inspiring symbolic side to this whole affair, with the building showcasing these fallen heroes being presented in a ceremonious manner to the Olympian gods.

Sources: Sacred-Destinations / GreatBuildings

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