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


4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Alex (10 months ago)
Visiting this makes sense only if you have the combined ticket for seven landmarks (the 30 euros one). For 8 euros/ticket I expected some form of signage, information and illustrations.
Brian Ferris (10 months ago)
It's good. But I would not go out of my way to see it. Views from outside the gates are just as good as views from inside. Check it out if you're in the area. Don't feel bad if you missed it
Ken Inness (10 months ago)
You can pretty much see everything from outside the fence. Go if you already have the multiple-site ticket. Not much is left of the original construction.
Bruce Westgate (11 months ago)
Since my last visit 5 years ago access had been restricted to half the site. So, much of the interesting archeology was unreachable. However, it was great to see huge efforts going into preserving this one of a kind monument.
Harry Mimigiannis (12 months ago)
The beauty of the ancient history of this city is astonishing. It's difficult to realize that monuments like this have thousands of years of history and are still standing. Surely impressive for someone who passes by especially the first time.
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