Acropolis of Athens

The Acropolis of Athens was planned, and construction begun, under the guidance of the great general and statesman Pericles of Athens. Over two years of detailed planning went into the specifications and contracting the labour for the Parthenon alone, and the first stone was laid on 28 July 447 BCE, during the Panathenaic festival. Wishing to create a lasting monument which would both honour the goddess Athena (who presided over Athens) and proclaim the glory of the city to the world, Pericles spared no expense in the construction of the Acropolis and, especially, the Parthenon, hiring the skilled architects Callicrates, Mnesikles, and Iktinos and the sculptor Phidias (recognized as the finest sculptor in the ancient world who created the statue of Zeus at Olympia, one of The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World) to work on the project. According to the historian Pedley, “the work…was carried out under the supervision of Phidias. In fact, Plutarch says that Phidias was in charge of the whole of Pericles’ scheme” (251). Hundreds of artisans, metal workers, craftspeople, painters, woodcarvers, and literally thousands of unskilled labourers worked on the Acropolis. Phidias created a gold and ivory statue of Athena which stood either in the Parthenon, known as the Temple of Athena Parthenos ('Athena the Virgin’ in Greek), or in the centre of the Acropolis near the smaller temple of Athena. During the Panathenaic festival, celebrants would carry a new robe to the ancient wooden cult statue of Athena, housed in the Erechtheion.The most famous example is the Acropolis of Athens,[3] which, by reason of its historical associations and the several famous buildings erected upon it (most notably the Parthenon), is known without qualification as the Acropolis. Although originating