The Temple of Olympian Zeus, Athens

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  • Temple of Olympian Zeus
    Temple of Olympian Zeus
    by didier06
  • Temple of Olympian Zeus
    Temple of Olympian Zeus
    by didier06
  • The Temple of Olympian Zeus
    by Durfun
  • mindcrime's Profile Photo

    Imagine of a coloseal temple!

    by mindcrime Updated May 12, 2013

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    the columns...
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    The Temple of Olympian Zeus is just behind the Arch of Hadrian from where you can see the ruins of the Temple. You can see it from here for free but you have to be close to it to "feel" the size of the temple. Especially in those times buildings like this were really large for the people that live in small houses and not big skyscrapers...

    It was the largest of the ancient greek temples but in our days is just one major tourist attraction. Although it started to built by Pisistratos back in the 6th century BC finally finished in 131AD, thanks to the money of Hadrian for one more time! :) In the area you can see 15 columns standing there but originally it had more than 100 corinthian columns.

    The entrance fee is 2 euro or you can just enter with the 12euro ticket for Acropolis (better option in any case because it includes other sites too)

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  • didier06's Profile Photo

    Olympieion

    by didier06 Written Feb 20, 2012

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    Temple of Olympian Zeus
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    L'Olympieion or Temple of Olympian Zeus is a colossal ruined temple in the centre of Athens, located about 700 meters of the Acropolis.
    Only 15 columns remain of this temple ends around 129/131 after JC by the roman emperor Hadrien.
    Probably damage during sachs of Athens, during centuries the temple was quarried to provide materials for other buildings.

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  • call_me_rhia's Profile Photo

    the Temple of Olympian Zeus

    by call_me_rhia Updated Sep 28, 2011

    The Temple of Olympian Zeus - also known as the Olympieion or Columns of the Olympian Zeus - is a colossal ruined temple in the centre of the Greek capital Athens that was dedicated to Zeus, king of the Olympian gods and is said to have been housing the famous statue of Zeus, which was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
    Construction began in the 6th century BC and ended during the reign of the Roman Emperor Hadrian in the 2nd century AD - basically it took 638 years to complete the project. I’m not sure why it took so long but it’s a fact that this temple was planned to have been the largest temple in Greece.
    For sure it was also one of the shortest-lived ones: it was pillaged, reduced to ruins and even quarried for building materials. What man didn’t do, an earthquake did: what was left of the temple fell to the ground. What remains today is not very much: roughly a dozen Doric columns and the outline of the perimeter where the temple would have been.
    My advice? Visit it just to “feel” how impressively huge this temple had been.

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  • hquittner's Profile Photo

    Go On To the Olympian Zeus Near the Gardens

    by hquittner Written Jun 18, 2011

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    All Of The Standing Columns
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    Just to the south of the National Gardens are the Arch of Hadrian abd adjacent to that, The Temple of Olympian Zeus. Only 15 of an original 104 marble columns remain standing plus one on its side. Some repair of the site have been done since the 1. Imagine that the entire building was the hargest in Athens when Hadrian completed it in 132 AD.

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    Temple of Zeus Olympus

    by xaver Updated Jun 16, 2011

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    This temple is not far from Acropolis. During ellenic and roman periods this has been the biggest temple of Greece. It was built in marble and it was 96 meters long and 40 meters large, used to had 104 columns each of them 17 meters high, today only 15 of those columns still stand.The 16th column was hit by a lightening during a storm in 1852 and felt down, you can still see it in that position.

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    Massive Zeus temple ruins

    by Durfun Written Jan 31, 2011

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    A large level plot is the location of the Zeus temple ruins. One can walk around it's perimeter, where you see some pillars still standing, whereas others are fallen on the ground. Walking around it gives a true sense of the gargantuan dimensions of this structure.

    There is a lot of greenery all around the site, creating a calm oasis amid the busy thoroughfare just in front, which is also obscured by all the plantations.

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  • iaint's Profile Photo

    Temple of Zeus

    by iaint Updated Jan 1, 2011
    looking west
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    This site was just across the street from my hotel. First thing I saw in the morning, and the last at night (it’s floodlit).

    Work started on it in 515BC, and finished in 131AD. Slow but steady progress. It was the largest temple on mainland Greece.

    It is worth stopping by. Not a lot to see, but spectacular none the less.

    The DK guide recommends visiting between 3 and 4pm, for the best light. That may depend on the time of year, however. It’s to do with the angle of the sun, I suppose. By coincidence (honestly) that’s when I was there. You can judge for yourself. Having observed from my hotel room, just before sunset in December is also very good.

    Entry was €2, or as part of the €12 composite Acropolis ticket.

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    Temple of Olympian Zeus

    by Tom_Fields Updated Feb 11, 2010

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    The ruins of the great temple of Olympian Zeus
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    The tyrant Peisistratos began this great temple in about 515 BC. But he ran out of funds to complete it. So work ceased. But later Greeks continued it, only to run out of money, too. Finally, the Roman emperor Hadrian (who constructed the wall separating Roman Britain from present-day Scotland) completed the temple in 132 AD. So it took over six centuries to finish it. It has an inscription reading "This is Athens, the ancient city of Theseus", to which Hadrian added his own: "This is the city of Hadrian, not of Theseus".

    With 104 columns, each standing 56 feet high, this temple was even larger than the Parthenon. The ruins give some idea of how huge and impressive this temple must have been. It once had a huge statue of Zeus on his throne, said to be one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. It's still worth a visit.

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  • leics's Profile Photo

    Truly enormous....but more to see.

    by leics Updated Apr 12, 2009

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    Loooming pillars
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    The Temple of Olympian Zeus is indeed massive, and must have been a magnificent and impressive sign of the power of ancient Athens.

    Building started around 600BC, but the temple was finally dedicated by Hadrian in 131AD. Originally there were 104 pillars but only 15 now remain. One was destroyed by an earthquake in 1852 and has been left as it fell, clearly showing how skillful the construction was.

    Stunning though the temple is, it is worth exploring further around the limits of the site. Part of it is not open to the public (it is stuffed with excavated and partially-excavated structures) but you can see a rather good set of Roman baths and the remains of various other buildings.

    Signage is not brilliant, but there are good-enough noticeboards explaining what you can see in Greek and English.

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  • wilocrek's Profile Photo

    Zeus would of been proud...at one point

    by wilocrek Written Mar 21, 2009

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    Appreciating the Temple of Zeus requires a great deal of imagination and patience. While it may not seem like much at first...being that there are only a dozen or so columns still standing...when you get closer to the ruins and see how massive the existing columns are you will have a better idea of how massive the temple would of been. During its heyday it would have been larger than the Parthenon...which can be seen as a reminder on top of the Acropolis in the distance from the Temple of Zeus. There are usually only a handful of tourists visiting this site so in most cases you will have the place to yourself. It serves as peaceful supplement to the Acropolis's grandeur and crowds. The Temple of Zeus has the same seasonal hours as the Acropolis and is included in the admission price. Its about a fifteen minute walk from the south slope of the Acropolis so no need to take a taxi.

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  • mallyak's Profile Photo

    Temple of olympian Zeus

    by mallyak Written Aug 22, 2008

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    The building of the Temple of Olympian Zeus actually began in the 6th Century by Peisistratos but work was stopped either because of a lack of money or because Pisistratus's son, Hippias, was overthrown in 510 BC. The temple was not finished until the Emperor Hadrian completed in 131 AD, seven hundred years later. There were other attempts to continue the building. The Classical Greeks (487-379)left it unfinished because they believed it was too big and symbolized the arrogance of people who believed they were equal to the Gods. During the Third Century when the Macedonians ruled Athens work was begun again by Antiochus the IV of Syria who wanted to build the world's largest temple and hired the Roman architect Cossotius to complete the job, but this ended when Antiochus died. In 86 BC, during Roman rule the general Sulla took two columns from the unfinished temple to Rome for the Temple of Jupiter on the Capitoline Hill which influenced the development of the Corinthian style in Rome.

    Originally there were 104 Corinthian columns of which only 15 remain standing. One of the columns actually blew down in a storm in 1852. Hadrian had erected a giant gold and ivory status of Zeus inside the temple with an equally large one of himself next to it. Nothing remains of these statues. It is not known when the temple of Zeus was destroyed but it probably came down in an earthquake during the mediaeval period. Like other ancient buildings much of it was taken away for building materials. In the early 1800s a stylite (a group of ascetics who spent long periods sitting or standing on top of pillars or columns. The word comes from the Greek stylos for column.) built his dwelling on top of one of the columns of the temple and it can be seen in early paintings and drawings.

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    Temple of Olympian Zeus

    by eksvist Written Jul 26, 2008

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    View of the temple from the Acropolis
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    The Temple of Olympian Zeus, also known as the Olympieion, is a colossal ruined temple in the centre of the Greek capital Athens that was formerly dedicated to Zeus, king of the Olympian gods.
    Construction began in the 6th century 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 650 years after the project had begun. During the Roman periods it was renowned as the largest temple in Greece and housed one of the largest cult statues in the ancient world.

    It is be a major tourist attraction.
    The temple is made of fine marble brought from Mount Pentelus and originally measured 96 meters long and 40 meters wide.
    There were originally 104 Corinthian columns, each 17 meters high; 48 of these stood in triple rows under the pediments and 56 in double rows at the sides. Only 15 columns remain standing today, with lovely Corinthian capitals still in place. A 16th column was blown down during a gale in 1852 and is still lying where it fell.

    When I was see this temple from Acropolis, I didn't saw nothing especial ... only when I stood beside the Temple of Olympian Zeus, I feels, how great and grandiose it is.
    When you standing in there, you feeling how small creature you is in this world.
    I think it is place what you must to see in Athens too.

    In here is shot video clip, what I've made with photo camera late evening.

    You can visit this place with the ticket of Acropolis. About the ticket prices you can look from Acropolis tip.
    If you don't visit the Acropolis, then ticket only to the Temple of Olympian Zeus is cost €2


    Open: Tues-Sun 8:30am-3pm

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    Temple of Olympian Zeus

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated Jul 23, 2008

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    Athens - Temple of Olympian Zeus
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    The Temple of Olympian Zeus (or Naos tou Olimpiou Dios), also known as the Olympieion, is a colossal ruined temple that was formerly dedicated to Zeus, king of the Olympian gods. Construction considered beginning in the VI-th century BC, but it was not completed until the reign of the Roman Emperor Hadrian in the 2nd century AD. During the Roman periods it was renowned as the largest temple in Greece and housed one of the largest cult statues in the ancient world.

    You may watch my high resolution photo of Athens on the Google Earth according to the following coordinates 37º 58' 8.40" N 23º 44' 2.20" E or on my Google Earth Panoramio Temple of Olympian Zeus .

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    Temple of Zeus

    by apbeaches Written Jul 16, 2008
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    The Temple of Olympian Zeus is a colossal ruined temple in the centre of the Greek capital Athens that was formerly dedicated to Zeus, king of the Olympian gods. Construction began in the 6th century 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 650 years after the project had begun. During the Roman periods it 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 shortl ived, as it fell into disuse after being pillaged in a barbarian invasion in the 3rd century AD. It was probably never repaired and was reduced to ruins thereafter. In the centuries after the fall of the Roman Empire, the temple was extensively quarried for building materials to supply building projects elsewhere in the city. Despite this, substantial remains remain visible today and it continues to be a major tourist attraction.

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  • Snipernurse's Profile Photo

    The Temple of Olympian Zeus

    by Snipernurse Updated Jun 28, 2008

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    The Temple of Olympian Zeus is an impressive sight. Only 15 of the temples original 10 pillars are still standing, and a couple of the pillars, which spilled to the ground in an earthquake in 1852, lay as they fell to the groun in a dominoe fashion. What remains certainly allows one to imagine the size of this impressive temple when it stood. I rank this as one of my favorite sites in Athens, as the sun does not beat on you as it does on the Acropolis and the site is much less crowded. Make a point to see this one

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