One of the most famous buildings of the classical world, the Parthenon's construction, directed by Athenian statesman Pericles, was begun in 477 BC and completed by 438. Built in the Doric style it was originally a structure surrounded by a colonnade with an inner chamber housing a colossal gold and ivory statue of Athena crafted by the famous sculptor Phidias.
The Parthenon remained intact for about a thousand years until it was converted into a Christian church in the 5th century AD and then a mosque by the Turks in 1460. In 1687 gunpowder stored in the Parthenon exploded under bombardment by the Venetians and destroyed the center of the building. In 1801-03 many of its famous sculptures decorating its exterior were removed by the English Lord Elgin and later sold to the British Museum where they controversially remain.
Location: Athens, Greece
- 1687-09-26 Acropolis in Athens attacked by Venetian army trying to eject Turks, damaging the Parthenon