The Parthenon Building

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Parthenon is in the list of the world’s most famous buildings. It got built in honoring the goddess (virgin Athena) Athena Parthenos, who was the patroness of Athens. At first, the temple got named the Great temple, but later on - Parthenon. It was built as a temple that got surrounded by columns. It had decorations with the gigantic sculptures and also reliefs. The pediments alone had 50 sculptures. Most of the sculptures that survived got kept on display in London, at the British Museum. So as to have visual perfection, the Parthenon creators decided to use optical refinements to defy the perspective laws. Most people label the Parthenon as one of the finest buildings the world has ever seen (Jenkins 78). However, this statement appears to be a veritable irony, putting into considerations the flaws that the building has. This essay discusses the flaws that Parthenon has, concluding that it is not one of the finest buildings in the entire world.

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Reasons Why Parthenon is Not One of the Perfect Buildings in the World

The Parthenon can be regarded widely as the apex of the Greek temple architecture. It can also get regarded as one of the crowning achievements the ancient world has witnessed. The Parthenon cannot be categorized as one of the perfect buildings the world has ever seen. When the Parthenon got built, it got constructed without the constructors having a building plan that they could have used to build the entire temple (Gardner & Kleiner 24). The temple got built at an exceedingly high rate, in less than a decade. The Greek columns, which the architects used to build the Parthenon, seemed a little bit tapered at the top. Not only were they tapered, they were curved in a slight manner. In addition, despite the columns being curved, they appeared to be slightly off perpendicular. If the centerlines of these columns were extended up to the sky, they would meet eventually. The cella walls of the exterior surface appeared to be tapered inward. The curved tapper exaggerates the human eye’s nature of visual reality, which people know as vanishing point.

One may think that the Parthenon base is a rectangle. One may also think that its pediment tends to be triangular in shape, while the architrave and frieze are rectangular. The three elements tend to be distorted into a slight curve, which optically exaggerates the vision of a human being. The building base raises some few inches along the temple’s long sides. Lately, the Parthenon looks more of a construction site than a temple, despite people saying that it represents the efforts of a supreme genius who was in the pursuit of beauty. The ancient masonry usually hides behind the steel poles, planks and the thickets of scaffolding (Neils 15). There is a miniature rail track, which gives shelter to the marble cutters, house lathes and some others power equipment. There is a gigantic collapsible crane that turns on a platform that is concrete in the innermost Parthenon’s sanctuary.

Parthenon got included in the ambitious building campaign that the acropolis had. The Athenians, that seemed to have successfully planned to build their new temple on a complex and lavish scale, where people saw the Parthenon as the centerpiece of the work. There were some problems, which had not been foreseen, as the workers in the temple started disassembling some temple parts. A good example can be given of the Greek builders, who had secured the iron clamps together with the marble blocks in grooves that got covered. The main columns that got used in building of the Parthenon were extremely costly, more costly than the hauling and quarrying combined (Beard 102).

Another reason why the Parthenon should not be categorized as one of the perfect buildings the world has ever seen is due to the time which the builders spent on the final touches. After the marble surface of Parthenon got exposed, they had been smoothed and polished, which added a subtle and final texture and made the shining of the marbles dull. Another reason why people see the Parthenon as just a normal building, but not one of the most spectacular buildings in the world, was the time, which the Greece architects took to complete it. The Parthenon got built in 8 to 9 years. Even if the Athenians were prominent in technology, this could have facilitated the short time taken to complete it (Harris 32). The marble blocks got lifted using the pulleys, mastery of ropes and the wooden cranes, these kinds of facilities could have enhanced the lifting and hauling of marble blocks, which the architects needed in completion of the house. Regardless of the tools used, they were not up to the modern standards equipment that ensures that the buildings are in a better position, unlike the Parthenon.


Some people consider the Parthenon to be one of the perfect buildings in the world. However, there is some irony in this statement. The architects built the temple without a building plan, and the duration, which they used to complete the Parthenon, was just too little. Some of the materials that the architects from Greece used to build the temple had some curves and the others got tapered. Even though, the main reason they did this was to make it attractive to the people, the building seems to have a weak basement.