10 Most Famous Greek Temples.
10 Temple of Olympian Zeus
The Temple of Olympian Zeus , also known as the Olympieion or Columns of the Olympian Zeus, is a colossal ruined temple in the center of the Greek capital Athens that was dedicated to Zeus, king of the Olympian gods. It was built on the site of an ancient Doric temple, the foundation of which had been laid out by the tyrant Pisistratus, but construction was abandoned several decades later in 510 BC and it was after 638 years .It was ruined partially because of the Roman invasion . Despite this, a substantial part of the temple remains today, and it continues to be a major tourist attraction.
9. Temple of Poseidon at Sounion
The dramatic coastal location of Sounio in southern Attica was an ideal spot for Temple of Poseidon , god of the sea . At the centre of the temple colonnade would have been the hall of worship (naos), a windowless rectangular room, similar to the partly intact hall at the Temple of Hephaestus. Local marble was used for the Temple of Poseidon’s Doric columns, less than half of the original ones survive today. The columns were cut with only 16 flutings instead of the usual 20, which reduced the surface area exposed to the wind and sea water.
8. Temple of Zeus at Cyrene
This temple was constructed in the 5th century BC in Cyrene. Cyrene was a very important ancient Greek city on the North African coast near present-day Shahhat, a town located in north-eastern Libya. The precise location of the ancient city was thirteen kilometres from the coast. Reflecting Cyrene’s importance in the ancient Greek world, the Temple of Zeus was larger than the Parthenon in Athens. In the sanctuary itself there were two rows of Doric columns as well as two columns in the porch. On the main platform in the sanctuary was a statue of a seated Zeus holding Victory in his right hand and a sceptre in his left . Animal sacrifices were carried out in the temple. The ancient entrance was from the east.
7. Erechtheion, Athens
The Erechtheion (or Erechtheum) is an ancient Greek temple constructed on the acropolis of Athens between 421 and 406 BCE in the Golden Age of the city. This temple was dedicated to both Athena and Poseidon. In 1801 one of the caryatids and the north column of the east porch together with the overlying section of the entablature were removed by Lord Elgin in order to decorate his Scottish mansion, and were later sold to the British Museum. Athenian legend had it that at night the remaining five Caryatids could be heard wailing for their lost sister.
6. Temple of Apollo Epicurius
The Temple of Apollo the Helper stands on a rocky outcropping of Mt. Kotilion (Palaiavlachitsa) at an altitude of 1.131m. This famous temple to the god of healing and the sun was built towards the middle of the 5th century B.C on a remote mountainside in the Peloponnese. It was designed by Iktinos, architect at Athens of the Parthenon. The Temple of Apollo Epicurius at Bassae is an exceptionally large, well-preserved (thanks primarily to its isolation) and mysterious Classical temple. It is unique in many ways, not least in its daring combination of Doric, Ionic and Corinthian orders .
5. Doric Temple of Segesta
The temple of Segesta is an unfinished Doric temple. It is located just outside the perimeter of the ancient city of Segesta, in the Northwest of Sicily. The temple was built probably around 430-420 BCE, but it was never completely finished. It established itself as the most important regional town of the Elymi people. Segesta continued to hold important status as a trading center into Hellenistic and Roman times. The whole structure has also been treated with a water-resistant solution to ensure its continued preservation against the elements. Nevertheless, the structure is sufficiently intact to give the visitor one of the best views of what an ancient Greek temple looked like in its original state.
Paestum, Greek Poseidonia, is an ancient city in southern Italy near the west coast, 22 miles southeast of modern Salerno and 5 miles) south of the Sele (ancient Silarus) River. Prospering as a trade center it was conquered first by the Lucanians and then, with the new Latin name of Paestum, the city became an important Roman colony in the 3rd century BCE.
The city walls and amphitheater are largely intact, and the bottom of the walls of many other structures remains, as well as paved roads. The site is open to the public, and there is a modern national museum within it. The ancient Greek part of Paestum consists of two sacred areas containing three Doric temples in a remarkable state of preservation. Therefore, Paestum is noted for its splendidly preserved Greek temples.
3. Temple of Hephaestus
View from top of Temple of Hephaestus Theseion in Athens, Greece during summer
Built just two years before the Parthenon in 449 BC, the Temple of Hephaestus (also spelled Hephaistos) is a beautifully preserved Greek temple overlooking the Agora of Athens. It was dedicated to Hephaestus and Athens (godess) Ergani . From the 7th century until 1834, it served as the Greek Orthodox church of Saint George Akamates. The building’s condition has been maintained due to its history of varied use. Today the Temple and the area is called Thission based on a more recent opinion that the Temple was dedicated to Theseus. The Temple is built in Doric style probably from the Architect of Parthenon Iktinos.
2. Valley of the Temples
Temple of Concordia. Valley of the Temples in Agrigento on Sicily, Italy
It is one of the most outstanding examples of Greater Greece art and architecture, and is one of the main attractions of Sicily as well as a national monument of Italy. The area was included in the UNESCO Heritage Site list in 1997. This splendid archaeological park consists of eight temples (and various other remains) built between about 510 BC and 430 BC: the Temple of Hera, the Temple of Concordia, the Temple of Heracles, the Temple of Olympian Zeus, the Temple of Castor and Pollux, the Temple of Hephaestos, the Temple of Demeter, and the Temple of Asclepius (the God of Medicine).
1. Parthenon, Acropolis Athens
Acropolis is probably the most famous and most visited monument in the world from the Antiquity times. It is the symbol of Athens and its most famous landmark. On the rock of Acropolis there are several monuments from the Greek Antiquity. Among those monuments of the Acropolis, Parthenon is the most magnificent; the temple of Parthenon was dedicated to the goddess Athena, protector of the Ancient city of Athens. Parthenon was built during the Golden Era of Athens under Pericles administration by the architects Iktinos and Kalikrates. This admirable monument was used as a fortress, a church, a mosque and as a powder magazine.