The Parthenon is the most iconic monument of the Athenian Acropolis, it is recognized worldwide and symbolizes a great sense of Greek pride and nationalism. Construction of this massive, ancient temple began around 448 B.C. after the Persians had sacked Athens in the year 479 B.C. over control of Greece. General and statesman Pericles insisted on rebuilding temples during this Golden Age of Athens to commemorate victories and indulge in the city’s glory. It is a Doric, peripetral temple dedicated to Athena, protectress of the city, with hexastyle porches and many Ionic features. Under the architectural direction of Iktinos and Kallikrates and supervision of sculptor Pheidias, artistic and unique details were added to the Parthenon, such as an Ionic frieze, ivory and gold statues, and metopes depicting mythical struggles. Its internal structure is divided into 3 parts: the pronaos (front porch), the cella (sanctuary), and the opisthonaos (rear porch). Over the proceeding centuries, the Parthenon suffered collateral damage caused by natural disasters and warfare during the Ottoman Empire. The temple was also altered to fit the religious needs of various cultures by operating as churches and mosques as well as serving purposes for art collections and architectural renovations. Nonetheless, in the late 17th century much of the Parthenon’s original features had been demolished and much of the site lay in ruins, until recent efforts to save the ancient monument.