Temple of Olympian Zeus

Athens, Greece

The Temple of Olympian Zeus is a former colossal temple at the centre Athens. It was dedicated to Olympian Zeus, a name originating from his position as head of the Olympian gods. Construction began in the 6th century BC (around 520 BC) during the rule of the Athenian tyrants, who envisaged building the greatest temple in the ancient world, but it was not completed until the reign of the Roman Emperor Hadrian in the 2nd century AD, some 638 years after the project had begun. During the Roman period the temple -that included 104 colossal columns- was renowned as the largest temple in Greece and housed one of the largest cult statues in the ancient world.

The temple's glory was short-lived, as it fell into disuse after being pillaged during a barbarian invasion in the 3rd century AD, just about a century after its completion. It was probably never repaired and was reduced to ruins thereafter. In the centuries after the fall of the Roman Empire, it was extensively quarried for building materials to supply building projects elsewhere in the city. Despite this, a substantial part of the temple remains today, notably sixteen of the original gigantic columns, and it continues to be part of a very important archaeological site of Greece.

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Founded: 520 BC
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Greece

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Riley M (8 months ago)
This is a very basic archaeological site. It is currently completely covered with scaffolding. There is some information dotted around the site but not a huge amount. You could probably do the side in 15-20 minutes
Huvie Joe (8 months ago)
Must see but it super busy. A lot of people on site. Definitely, get yourself a guide. And check out the museum IT was the most beautiful museum I ever been to
nocolor natsu (8 months ago)
Beautifully remained grand gate?✨Great historic place for "must go" ?We've already had the package tickets for other historical places, and those can keep 5days, 30€/person so it's enough decent amount to enter more than 6places ?
Maria K (8 months ago)
Not as popular as Acropolis of course. This temple has a very interesting history. I suggest you read about it first before coming to visit. There’s an incredible view of the Acropolis from this archaeological site.
Annalyn Azancot (9 months ago)
A must stop in Athens. You can see the ruins of Temple of Olympian. There is a small coffee shop at the entrance. You'll take about 10-15 min to walk around. The visit would be better if the place would include more historical explanation about what is there.
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