November 16, 2011
This detailed sketch, based on George Wheeler's topographical drawing of 1667, documents the appearance of the Parthenon just a few years before Venetian forces shelled the Acropolis during the Republic's struggle to take the city from the Ottomans in 1687. When the Ottoman ruler Mehmet II conquered Athens two centuries earlier, the Parthenon was transformed into a mosque and a minaret was erected in the southwest corner. During the Venetian bombardment, the Parthenon's roof collapsed, all internal structures were destroyed, and many of the pillars and sculptures were damaged. After this devastating event, the building fell into disuse; however, the minaret, featured prominently in this drawing, was not dismantled until 1832.