Do you know which are the biggest temples in the world?
if you don’t know which are the biggest temples of the world you should check out our Instagram page: this week we closed a series about the biggest temples ever built, and here’s our favorite one!
🏛 ATHEN’S PARTHENON
The Parthenon, one of the most famous monuments of the ancient world, was built by Phidias on behalf of Pericles, along with all the other buildings still visible today on the Acropolis of Athens. It was built on the site of a temple destroyed by the Persians during the invasion and destruction of Athens in 480 BC.
The temple was completed around 432 BC and was consecrated to the cult of the goddess Athena Parthenos (virgin) and remained voted to this cult until the fifth century AD when, under Byzantine domination, it was converted into a Christian church. The internal colonnade and some metopes representing scenes related to the Greek religion were removed.
After the fall of the Byzantine Empire and the subsequent Ottoman conquest of Greece, the Parthenon was converted into a mosque.
Despite the interventions to convert it to different cults, the Parthenon suffered the greatest devastation of its millenary history in 1687: during the siege of Athens by the Venetians, during which the Ottomans were using the Acropolis as a fortress and the Parthenon as a powder store, the temple was hit by a mortar fire which destroyed it almost completely.
The remaining original metopes and friezes sculpted by Phidias were eventually removed by the English Lord Elgin in 1801 and taken to England, where they are still exhibited inside the British Museum. Since 1983, Greek governments have been trying to return the sculptures kept in England to Greece, in vain.
🪐 WINTER HAS COME: URANUS’ LONG NIGH
In ancient times, humanity discovered and studied Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, but with the invention of modern means of observation, it managed to go far beyond. Uranus was the first planet discovered with the aid of a telescope, in 1781 by astronomer Willam Herschel, even though it was initially mistaken for a star.
Uranus is the seventh planet from the Sun, distant from the Sun as 20 times as it is Earth and it takes 84 years to orbit the star, more or less a human life! It is an ice giant composed for the 80% by a hot dense fluid of icy materials: mainly water, methane and ammonia, above a small rocky core. Its surface consists mainly of swirling fluids, meaning that it has no true surface, like Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune. The methane gas in the atmosphere gives the planet its characteristic blue-green color: in fact, it absorbs the red portion of the light, resulting in a blue-green color. Its composition, together with the distance from the Sun, makes it the coldest planet of the Solar System (-224°C). Given also that winds can speed up to 560 mph (900 km/h), it is quite clear that the planet, because of its conditions, cannot support life.
Uranus is the only planet, together with Venus, that rotates in opposite direction that most of the planets. Moreover, a curious fact about Uranus’ rotation is that it is the only planet whose equator is nearly at a right angle to its orbit (perhaps due to a collision with an Earth-sized object that occurred long ago). This inclination causes the most extreme seasons in the solar system: the Sun shines directly over each pole each quarter of the year, while the other half of the planet must face a 21-year-long, dark winter (yep, imagine Ed Stark whispering something like “winter has come”).
Uranus has also a system of 13 rings and 27 known moons. Curiously, its moons are the only objects of the whole Solar System named after characters of the works of William Shakespeare and Alexander Pope, instead of characters of the Greek / Roman mythology.
🎨 CANALETTO – ARRIVAL OF THE FRENCH AMBASSADOR IN VENICE (1726-1727)
This work depicts the arrival of the Imperial Ambassador to the Republic of Venice on 29 May 1729 and it is a clear example of Vedutism, a pictorial genre that developed in the eighteenth century. Painters like Canaletto represented landscapes and urban scenes with careful realism. This style developed during the Age of Enlightenment and, in line with its beliefs, it aimed at investigating the rationality of reality through the representation of every detail. The landscape and its perspective are the main subjects: there is no influence of human presence nor feelings.