Temple of Hephaestus

Athens, Greece

The Temple of Hephaestus is a well-preserved Greek temple located at the north-west side of the Agora of Athens; it remains standing largely as built. It was dedicated to Hephaestus, the ancient god of fire and Athena, goddess of pottery and crafts. According to the archeologists, the temple was built around 450 BCE. at the western edge of the city, on top of Agoreos Koronos hill, and it is a classical example of Dorian architecture. The temple was designed by Iktinus, one of the talented architects who also worked on Parthenon, However, many other craftsmen worked at this fantastic temple.

The temple has 6 columns on the short east and west sides and 13 on the north and south sides. Its friezes and other decorations have been greatly damaged by earthquakes and invasions along the centuries. The temple is located in Thissio, within a short distance from the Acropolis and Monastiraki, just above the Ancient Agora and the Stoa of Attalos. It was built from Pentelic marble, while its sculptures are made of Parian marble. It has a pronaos, a cella and an opisthodomos. The temple is peripheral, with columns that surround the central enclosed cella. Both of them are decorated with friezes.

The east and west sides of the temple are shorter whereas the north and the south sides are longer. On the eastern front of the temple, there are sculptures depicting the labors of Hercules and the battle of Thesseus with the Pallentides, the fifty children of Pallas. On the west side the sculptures depict the fall of Troy.

From the 7th century A.D. till 1834, this temple was an Orthodox church dedicated to Saint George Akamatus. The last Holy Mass took place in February 1833, when King Otto arrived in Greece. In the 19th century, the temple was used as a burial place for the non-Orthodox Europeans and philhellenes. Actually, the archeological excavations revealed many graves. In 1834, King Otto ordered the building to be used as a museum where it actually remained as such until 1934. Today, this temple is one of the greatest ancient monuments in Greece. Reconstruction and excavation works are still carried out.



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Agora, Athens, Greece
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Founded: 450 BCE
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Greece


4.8/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

legaleagll Keys (7 months ago)
I recently had the privilege of visiting the extraordinary Temple of Hephaestus, and I must say it left me in awe. Located in the heart of Athens, this ancient marvel radiates a timeless beauty that is truly inspiring. As I approached the temple, I was immediately captivated by its grandeur. The sheer scale of the structure is breathtaking, with its imposing columns reaching towards the heavens. The precision and craftsmanship of the architecture are a testament to the ingenuity of the ancient Greeks. Each intricate detail tells a story of devotion and reverence to the gods. The temple's golden hue, illuminated by the sun's rays, created an ethereal atmosphere. As I explored the temple's interior, I couldn't help but marvel at the play of light and shadow, casting an enchanting aura over the sacred space. The symmetrical layout and harmonious proportions further added to its allure, creating a serene ambiance that invites introspection. However, I must mention that the weather during my visit was scorching hot! The temple's location on a hilltop, coupled with the absence of shade, made it quite challenging to bear the heat. I recommend visiting during cooler parts of the day or carrying an umbrella or hat to shield yourself from the relentless sun. Despite the heat, my experience at the Temple of Hephaestus was nothing short of extraordinary. It provided me with a profound sense of connection to the ancient world, and I couldn't help but feel a deep appreciation for the remarkable achievements of the ancient Greeks. Whether you are a history enthusiast, an architecture lover, or simply seeking a place of tranquility, the Temple of Hephaestus is an absolute must-visit. Prepare to be enchanted by its beauty, inspired by its architecture, and, yes, perhaps a little warmed by the sun's embrace.
Diogo Santo (14 months ago)
One of the most intact temples in Athens if not "the most". The views in and around are incredibly interesting. It was the first location I visited upon my arrival to Athens and I couldn't be more happy about it. Really interesting to understand both why they built these temples and how. The rocks they used and how they would reflect specific things of the gods. If you come to Athens, don't miss this place.
Ali Sh (15 months ago)
My favourite place in Athens. A 2500 year old temple that still stands! The history is just so great ans the architecture and design so influential and beautiful.
Hadrian Bonello (17 months ago)
This is a beautiful place to visit. Teeming with history. Full of vibe and truly stunning. If you love history than this place is really worth visiting as it invokes what it was like to live in that era. Enjoyed the walk to get there and the surroundings are mesmerising. One visit will last a lifetime in your memory.
mik losh (17 months ago)
Very well preserved temple from the 4th century BC in the heart of Athens. From here you have a good view of the Acropolis. Admission including the museum and the other excavation sites is 10 euros. Definitely recommended.
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