The Parthenon remained essentially unaltered until the sixth century A.D., when it was transformed into a Christian church; subsequently, in 1400, it was converted into a mosque; and ultimately, it was utilized as a munitions storage, with the bulk of its sculptures surviving. The building was destroyed by fire in 1670.
The original material used to build the Parthenon was limestone, which is very erosion-prone. The area where it is located is a relatively shallow basin, so any water that did reach the ground would have done little more than seep down to recharge the local aquifer. The only way this structure could have survived for over 400 years is if it had some sort of protective status. Most likely, this protection came in the form of an annual payment to the city-state of Athens by some other country or countries.
In 438 B.C., the city of Athens entered into a political alliance with Phocis, one of Greece's principal states at the time. As part of the agreement, Phocis received control of the territory surrounding the temple of Athena Polias (Athens' protector goddess). It is likely that this treaty included provisions for both nations to support the preservation of the temple site. In other words, both governments agreed that the temple needed to be preserved for future generations to see.
The Parthenon was erected on the ruins of the former church, which had been built by Peisistratus and had been destroyed by the Persians. Except for the elevated level, which was made of limestone, the building was made of Pentelic marble. The temple took nine years to build. It was designed by Ictinus and Callicrates, two Athenian sculptors, and it was completed in 438 B.C. During its construction, many other artists contributed by creating sculptures for the temple.
The architects used iron cramps to bind together the blocks of marble they selected for the project. Then they drilled holes in the blocks with a drill made of silver or bronze. They used wood as a plug when drilling into marble because there is no metal inside a stone wall. When they were finished, they covered the plugs with gold or silver dust obtained from jewelry melted down for this purpose.
The walls and ceilings of the Parthenon were painted red, white, and blue. The colors came from local materials - red ochre for the walls and blue for the ceiling. The painters used brushes made of horse hair and feathers for application of the paint. They also mixed pigments that gave the walls their color.
Gold was used extensively in the decoration of the temple. There are rings, earrings, and nails made of it. Also, parts of the statues that we know today were once covered in gold.
The Parthenon's purpose has shifted during its 2,500-year existence, starting as a temple devoted to the goddess Athena Parthenos ("Athena the Virgin"). During a conflict with the Venetians, the temple was utilized to store Ottoman armaments, which is how an explosion in 1687 destroyed the structure. The remains of the building were then used to construct a Catholic church.
In 1753, the British occupied Athens and began a program of excavating and removing ancient Greek statues for export to England. The Parthenon's dome was dismantled and shipped off to London. Only the base of the drum on which the dome rested was saved for use in another building. In 1801, the Ottoman government sold the site of the former temple to a French architect who planned to build a new palace complex in its place. Work stopped after the Frenchman died and was never resumed. By this time, the site had become overgrown with vegetation. When Europeans arrived in Greece later in the 19th century, they were astonished by what remained of the monument.
Today, the site of the former Parthenon is a public park called "Parliament Square". It is here that Greeks celebrate their national holiday, Independence Day, on 28th October each year. The event includes music performances, dancing, food booths, and more.
In conclusion, the Parthenon is no longer in use as a temple because it was converted into a museum years ago.
In the early 1460s, following the Ottoman invasion, it was converted into a mosque. During the siege of the Acropolis on September 26, 1687, an Ottoman munitions depot inside the structure was burned by Venetian shelling. The Parthenon and its sculptures were extensively destroyed as a result of the explosion. Work on the site did not cease until 1753. The British archaeologist Arthur Evans discovered the ruins in 1801 and began to excavate them the next year. He was followed by John Stuart Millar who completed the work in 1832.
The temple was built between 438 and 421 B.C. by Athens's most famous architect, Iktinos. The original idea for the construction may have come from Pericles, but the project was carried out under his friend and rival Aiolos. Iktinos probably took part in the planning process but died before it was completed. Despite this tragedy, the building was completed by his son Kallikles. The exterior walls were made of marble, while the interior was covered with wood. There were no windows and only one door on the eastern side. The entrance was flanked by two rows of columns with acanthus leaf capitals and ended with a triangular pediment. On the east front there is a statue of Athena Partenou (Athens's version of Athena), wearing a helmet with a peacock feather in it. She is holding a spear in her right hand and a torch in her left hand.