Secrets of the Parthenon

DVD documentary about the Parthenon in Athens
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DVD Documentary Review

Have you ever wondered how the Parthenon was really built? Well the DVD ‘Secrets of the Parthenon’ does an amazing job at showing you visually and explaining how and why the Parthenon was built the way it was in the first place. The reason for this is that it is being filmed and new things are being discovered into its construction as the temple itself is being taken apart and fixed – architectural discoveries about the building of the Parthenon that would never have been known to us or otherwise apparent.

At first glance when you visit the Acropolis and see the Parthenon, you will be amazed at its grandeur and architecture. To have stood all this time atop the Acropolis is truly amazing. If it were not for the shelling of the Parthenon by the Venetians, perhaps it would have been in even better condition!

Also, because it was so perfectly constructed, you may not give a second thought to how much skill and knowledge went into the construction of this temple and in such a short period of time that it took to build it.

Like I mentioned, the documentary is being filmed simultaneously as the Parthenon is being reconstructed, renovated. So basically you see it as it was put together. The documentary looks at why this temple was constructed giving a perspective of its place in Athenian history and the history of ancient Greek city states.

From an architectural perspective, this building is truly unique because not a single line is straight. This documentary explains the reason for this and a lot of it has to do with appearance and to convey the appropriate visual illusion. Even though the base of the Parthenon looks straight, it isn’t. Where did the Athenians get the architectural ideas involved in the building of this temple? Well the documentary visits a much smaller and older temple (now in ruins) that can be found on the island of Naxos and compares its features to those found in the building of the Parthenon.

Another interesting fact is that all the pieces involved in building the Parthenon i.e., marble drum columns, etc… are all of different sizes. Basically, each piece has to be custom created for the entire structure to be built!

There is so much more to discuss, but I feel it’s best if you watch the documentary for yourself. Also, imagine how magnificent this structure may have looked right after construction with all its friezes, statues and color!

To conclude, I like this DVD Nova: Secrets of the Parthenon a lot because it discusses the Parthenon in new ways, with new information that has come to light and it does not constantly repeat over and over again what you have already heard earlier in the documentary. It’s a good DVD to have in your collection and to watch before you visit Athens and the Parthenon. Even if you have seen this temple already in person, watching this DVD and then visiting the Parthenon again, gives you new insight and more appreciation into this magnificent structure. Also, you now know what else to look at and what to possibly take photos and videos of.



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