The construction of the temple of Olympian Zeus took place in 515 BCE. More specifically it was the period of the sovereignty of tyrant Pisistratus. After the exclusion from the city of Athens , the son of Pisistratus Hippias the construction stopped.
Then in 174 BCE the king of Syria Antiochus Epiphanes continued the works of the construction of the monument. Immediately after his death the construction stopped again. Afterwards the roman emperor Adrianos gave the order to finish the construction of the temple.
Approximately in 132 CE took place the construction of a wall around the temple. Impressively was the addition of Hadrian’s Arch to the entrance of the temple. Later on the Valerian wall engulfed the construction of a series of temples.
More specifically it was about the temple of Zeus Panhellenios, the temple of Kronos and Rhea and the Basilica Olympieion.
Sculptural decoration of the temple of Olympian Zeus
The order of the temple is corinthian. In addition the columns of the temple are unusually tall. Furthermore the cella of the temple housed the colossal chryselephantine statues of Zeus and Hadrian.
The temple suffered from damages. Sulla stole a few of the columns and used its material to built the Rome’s Temple of Jupiter and Augustus. During the Turkish Occupation the temple became a mosque. Nowadays, fifteen columns are still standing. While an another column is lying on the ground as it collapsed during a storm in 1852.
Vasilissis Olgas and Vasilissis Amalias Avenue, 2103224625
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday from 08.00- 18.30
Entrance fee: full: €6, reduced: €3
By metro: Acropolis stop (line 2)
Image 1, 2 : Image courtesy of P.S. Hernandez via Flickr, Licence CC BY 2.0