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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Address

Agora, Athens, Greece
See all sites in Athens

Details

Founded: 450 BCE
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Greece

Rating

4.8/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Panacea G (17 months ago)
Stunning temple. Such great preserved history. There is also a museum nearby. I had a great time learning about the history of the temple and seeing the architecture.
Hope Counts (18 months ago)
Sits in the Acropolis among other huge temples. Definitely a must see. Be sure to wear good walking shoes. And take water, there is hose attachment to get water but it comes out hot in the summer.
Phillip Whitehair (18 months ago)
Stunning architecture, thousands of years of history, and various places to explore. The Temple of Hephaestus offers guests a remarkable experience, and something everyone needs to visit. The overall condition of the Temple of Hephaestus is excellent, especially being thousands of years old. Besides the temple, there’s various pathways with monuments, statues, and sculptures. Spend a couple hours exploring, take lots of pictures, and enjoy thousands of years of history. Once your done exploring the Temple of Hephaestus, there’s tons of restaurants, cafes, and attractions within walking distance. I highly recommend this ancient marvel!
Miss Edw (18 months ago)
Absolutely stunning, best preserved temple in Athens. Plus saw wild tortoises mating which was an unexpected extra. Can guarantee the temple is amazing, can't guarantee you'll see tortoise sex.
Nathan Mikesell (18 months ago)
One of the best preserved Temples in Greece, located in the Ancient Agora, you will have amazing photo opportunities with a panoramic view of Ancient Athens proper. There are some barriers for preservation purposes, it's definitely worth checking out. Added pluses are the colorful parents that best in the rafters! No tour guide necessary as all information is listed in several languages
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