The Parthenon (Ancient Greek: Παρθενών; Greek: Παρθενώνας, Parthenónas) is a former temple on the Athenian Acropolis, Greece, dedicated to the goddess Athena, whom the people of Athens considered their patron.
Construction began in 447 BCE when the Athenian Empire was at the peak of its power. It was completed in 438 BCE, although decoration of the building continued until 432 BCE. It is the most important surviving building of Classical Greece. In the final decade of the 6th century CE, the Parthenon was converted into a Christian church dedicated to the Virgin Mary. After the Ottoman conquest, it was turned into a mosque in the early 1460s.
The precise circumstances under which the Turks appropriated parthenon for use as a mosque are unclear; one account states that Mehmed II ordered its conversion as punishment for an Athenian plot against Ottoman rule. The apse became a mihrab, the tower previously constructed during the Roman Catholic occupation of the Parthenon was extended upwards to become a minaret, a minbar was installed, the Christian altar and iconostasis were removed, and the walls were whitewashed to cover icons of Christian saints and other Christian imagery.
- Barletta, Barbara A. (2005). "The Architecture and Architects of the Classical Parthenon". In Jenifer Neils (ed.). The Parthenon: From Antiquity to the Present. Cambridge University Press. p. 67. ISBN 978-0-521-82093-6. The Parthenon (Plate 1, Fig. 17) is probably the most celebrated of all Greek temples.
- Babinger, Franz (1992). Mehmed the Conqueror and His Time. Princeton University Press. pp. 159–160. ISBN 978-0-691-01078-6.
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- Tomkinson, John L. "Ottoman Athens I: Early Ottoman Athens (1456–1689)". Anagnosis Books. Retrieved 14 August 2012. "In 1466 the Parthenon was referred to as a church, so it seems likely that for some time at least, it continued to function as a cathedral, being restored to the use of the Greek archbishop."
- Tomkinson, John L. "Ottoman Athens I: Early Ottoman Athens (1456–1689)". Anagnosis Books. Retrieved 14 August 2012. "Some time later – we do not know exactly when – the Parthenon was itself converted into a mosque."
- D'Ooge 1909, p. 317. "The conversion of the Parthenon into a mosque is first mentioned by another anonymous writer, the Paris Anonymous, whose manuscript dating from the latter half of the fifteenth century was discovered in the library of Paris in 1862."
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