The use of marble in architecture dates back thousands of years to ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian cultures. Capable of bearing immense weight, marble was ideally suited for monolithic columns and supporting structures in public, private, and religious buildings.
From the richly coloured red floor of the basilica of Saint Paul in Rome to the walls of the Palace of Versailles, to the elaborately designed nave of England’s Salisbury Cathedral, marble has been used in some of the world’s most awe-inspiring buildings. The Athenian Treasury, built in the sixth century BC, was the first building constructed entirely of marble. The Parthenon, erected by Pericles in the same period, was built to be the beacon of the Acropolis. From miles away, incoming ships sailing through the Mediterranean could see the shining Pentelic marble columns of the most famous temple in Athens. The Parthenon still stands today, a testament to the resilience of one of the world’s most luxurious building materials.