Temple of Olympian Zeus, Greece
The King of Gods
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About Temple of Olympian Zeus in Athens
The temple of Olympian Zeus is a colossal temple right at the centre of Athens dedicated to Zeus, the king of Olympian gods in Greek mythology. The temple was commissioned by Peisistratus in the 6th century BC, but the construction was halted due to lack of funds. The temple saw multiple starts and pauses by various rulers until it was completed in the 131 AD by Hadrian, a 700 year completion period. The temple upon its completion Hadrian placed a colossal statue of Zeus and himself made of Gold and Ivory right next to each other in the temple. It is believed that the ancient Greeks left the temple unfinished as they thought it was too big and a symbol of arrogance by comparing people to Gods. The temple had a colossal 104 Corinthian columns.
The temple of Olympian Zeus lies 500 m to the south-east of the Acropolis and is built on an ancient sanctuary dedicated to Zeus. The current temple began its constructions after the earlier temple was demolished by the sons of Peisistratus. Before Hadrian completed the temple, the construction was begun once again in 174 BC by Antiochus IV Epiphanes and placed roman architect Decimus Cossutius at the helm of the project. The temple was again left half-finished with the death of Decimus. It is assumed that the temple was brought down by an earthquake or during the Herulian sack of Athens in 267 A.D. and the temple was never repaired after that. The material from the temple was later used in the construction of nearby monuments.
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FAQ's of Athens
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Who excavated the temple site?
The temple was excavated by Francis Penrose, Gabriel Welter and Ioannes Travlos.
Are there any nearby monuments?
Yes, there is the Arch of Hadrian which acted as a gate between the ancient city and the Roman Athens.
How big are the columns?
The columns are 17 m in height and 1.7 m in base diameter.
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