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The History of the Parthenon

It is day two of our trip to Athens, and we are visiting the Parthenon! The Parthenon is a temple dedicated to Athena, the goddess of wisdom and warfare. The story behind the dedication is that Athena and Poseidon competed over the Parthenon by giving gifts to the people of Athens. Poseidon went first and created a spring, which started to flow straight from the ground. The people were amazed, but when they tasted it, they realized that it was salt water! What are you supposed to do with salt water? Next it was Athena’s turn. She created an olive tree, and the people were confused. They asked why she would create only an olive tree, and she answered saying that the tree shall feed them, help to create oils, and light lamps.

The Parthenon was also used throughout history as a place to store ammunition, as a mosque, and even as a Catholic church. It even survived a huge explosion and had to be rebuilt from the ground up. During World War II, Greece was even occupied by the Nazis. The resistance in Greece definitely made it difficult for them to take the city of Athens. They eventually raised the Nazi flag on the Acropolis, but the Greeks were not done yet! They snuck up to the Acropolis, cut down the Nazi flag, burned it, and raised the Greek flag; it was a symbol of courage and hope all over Greece.