The Parthenon is a former temple that dominates the hill of the Acropolis at Athens. Construction began in 447 BC when the Athenian Empire was at the peak of its power. It was completed in 438 BC, although decoration of the building continued until 432 BC. It was dedicated to the Greek goddess Athena Parthenos ('Athena the Virgin'). 

The temple is generally considered to be the culmination of the development of the Doric order, the simplest of the three Classical Greek architectural orders.  Its decorative sculptures are considered some of the high points of Greek art. 

The Parthenon is regarded as an enduring symbol of Ancient Greece, Athenian democracy and Western civilization, and one of the world's greatest cultural monuments. To the Athenians who built it, the Parthenon and other Periclean monuments of the Acropolis were seen fundamentally as a celebration of Hellenic victory over the Persian invaders and as a thanksgiving to the gods for that victory.

The temple's harmonic proportions, precise construction, and lifelike sculptures have been celebrated and emulated for thousands of years.