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The Parthenon was part of an ambitious building campaign that began around 450 b.c. in Athens Greece.

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Introduction

Austin Didio Paul Schweizer Survey of Art I 10/11/11 The Parthenon was part of an ambitious building campaign that began around 450 b.c. in Athens Greece. Some say The Parthenon as the culmination of classical architectureI. t took only eight years to build this architectural wonder and it is an icon to the art and culture of Western civilization. It has withstood over two thousands years of weathering and human destruction. After continues looting and destruction the Parthenon eventually fell to ruins with many fragmented pieces. Restoration began for a second time in the 1970's and has cost well over one hundred million dollars, but it was well worth it. As restoration finally is nearing completion more and more secrets of how it was constructed are discovered. Greek builders faced many challenges along the way, possibly the first problem they faced was how they would get the massive blocks of marble needed because the quarries were located thousands of miles away on remote islands. ...read more.

Middle

The idealism of the Greek way of living, the attention to detail, as well as the understanding of a mathematically explained harmony in the natural world, These ideals are represented in the perfect proportions of the building, in its intricate architectural elements. To the unaided eye, columns tend to look narrower in the middle than at the top or bottom. So when Iktinos designed the Parthenon he built the columns with slight "optical refinements" or bulges in the middle, to make them appear straight this effect is known as entasis. The whole building its self has almost no perfect right angles or straight lines. The ancient Greeks had advanced knowledge that straight lines give the impression of descending curves under the light of the sun. The curving starts from the foundations of the temple and moves on to the sill, entablature, ceilings, roof and even the tiling. The architects also had advanced knowledge of proportional harmony which is identifying useful aspects of natural processes and applying them to their creations. ...read more.

Conclusion

Even with all of this knowledge of how the Parthenon was constructed in just eight years, it has taken experts over thirty years to fix the problems caused by previous restoration attempts and damage over the last 2,500 years. The Ancient Greek Parthenon was built over 2,500 years ago. Since its construction it has had many uses, and even today is still considered the culmination of classical architecture. Damaged by man, the nature, and war, it is nowhere near the pristine condition it was originally in, but over the last 30 or so years a major reconstruction effort has taken place and transformed this once considered "ruin" into a beautiful work of architecture. It serves as an example of what man is and always has been capable of, and even gives us insight of what we are capable of in the future. This reconstruction effort has saved an icon of Western Civilization from complete destruction, and has given myself along with many others inspiration for the future. ...read more.

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