he Columns of the Temple of Olympian Zeus rise up in one of the most beautiful settings in Athens. This area, because of its proximity to the Ilissos river, has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Here was the center of the town, and where tradition places the oldest sanctuaries such as the sanctuary of Olympian Zeus, the Pythion and the sanctuary of Gaia. According to Pausanias, the site is connected to the
|myth of the creation of the human race. Devkalion,according to the myth, was the founder of the sanctuary of Ĉeus. He and his wife Pyrha, were the only human beings who survived from the Great Flood.|
|he temple that was built here was one of the largest in Greece and the largest built in the Corinthian style. Its foundations were laid by Peisistratos in the 6th century BC. It was completed in the 2nd century AD by Hadrian. The temple is built on a large rectangle, 250 m. long and 130 m. wide. On the north side there was a Portico with four columns and the main entrance. The temple is dipteral with eight columns. Today 16 columns have survived of the original total of 108. Of these, one lies on the ground since 1852, when it was hit by a bolt of lighting.|
he columns are 17.25 m. high and have a diameter at their base of 1.70 m. with 20 flutings. Inside the temple there was a gold and ivory statue of Zeus. It was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
In the temple's enormous enclosure there was a veritable forest of statues.
In front of the Temple of Olympian Zeus lies the Hadrian's Gate.
This gate was built by Hadrian in 131 AD and functioned as a triumphal arch. It is a large arched gate 18 m. high, 13 m. wide and 2.30 m. deep.
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The Ancient Stadium
Photos and informations taken from "Athens - Attica"
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