Temple of Olympian Zeus (Olympieion)
On December 22, 2016 | 0 Comments

The Olympieion is a temple in the center of Athens that was dedicated to the king of all Gods, Zeus.

Along the valley of the Ilissos stands the Arch of Hadrian, a single-arched gateway with a facade consisting of two lateral pilaster strips and two Corinthian columns and surmounted by a small pediment, through which one reaches the area where the colossal Temple of Zeus Olympios (Olympieion) must have stood.

Photo credits by George Rex under CC-BY-SA-2.0.

The construction of this building, the original plan of which was developed in the VIth century BC by the family of Peisistratos, was never completed.

Antiochos IV of Syria undertook the construction of a new building a little before the middle of the IInd century BC, which was entrusted to the famous architect Cossutius, but this too was left unfinished.

The surviving temple dates to the reign of Hadrian (124-132 AD) and stands in the centre of an imposing temenos (sacred precinct).

44 metres wide and 110 metres long, it is a Corinthian temple, surrounded by a triple colonnade originally consisting of 104 columns, with a long, narrow naos (cell) which contained the chryselephantine statue of the god.

Athens Guidebook

Do you want to know more about the Olympieion and the history of Athens?

Check out our guidebook to Athens, with detailed history and Past & Present images of the Acropolis, the Parthenon, the Propylaea and all the greatest historical and archaeological sites of the greek city.

How to get to the Olympieion


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