The Temple of Olympian Zeus, 500 meters southeast of the Acropolis, measured 96 meters long and 40 meters wide. It was once an impressive construction made entirely of white marble from Mount Pentelicus. The monument had 104 15-meter Corinthian columns. Nowadays, only 15 remain standing, and one intact column lies on the ground.
The endless construction
The design of this colossal temple began during the period of Peisistratos, in the sixth century B.C. For various reasons, it was not finished until nearly seven centuries later, in 132 AC, under the Roman Emperor Hadrian.
When the impressive temple was completed, the Emperor Hadrian commissioned a statue made of gold and marble in the shape of the Greek god Zeus and another of himself to place inside the temple.
On the northeast corner of the monument is Hadrian’s Arch, a remarkable 18-meter marble arch that once separated the old city (city of Theseus) and the new city (city of Hadrian). It was built in 131 AC to commemorate the Roman Emperor.
Temple of Olympian Zeus nowadays
Although an earthquake destroyed most of the temple during the Middle Ages, the remains still demonstrate the vastness of the monument and its importance in Ancient Greece.
Standing on a large grass terrace, the 15 majestic columns are one of the most important remains from Ancient Greece.