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Hadrian's archHadrian's arch

Hadrian's Arch was constructed in 131 AD by the Roman Emperor Hadrian as part of a wall separating the old and new cities of Athens. On the side of the arch facing the Acropolis is the inscription, "This is Athens, the former city of Theseus" while the other side reads, "This is the city of Hadrian and not of Theseus". The 18 meters (59ft) gate was made of marble from nearby Mount Pentelikon and decorated in the Corinthian order.

Drawing of Hadrian’s Arch by J. Stuart (1753)Hadrian was known for his peaceful reign and for being an extensive builder. He was very fond of Greek learning and had traveled in Achaea. He also rebuilt the fortification wall around Athens which had been torn down by Sulla and changed the Acropolis into a fort, which it had been before. Athens became somewhat of a second capital during Hadrian's reign.

You will find Hadrian's arch at Locaton map Amallias Avenue at the entrance of the site of the Temple of Olympian Zeus, just south of the National Gardens.

Openings hours Open non-stop, admission free
Nearest metero station
Acropoli Top

The Temple of Olympian ZeusThe Temple of Olympian Zeus

The Temple of the Olympian Zeus, also know as the Olympeion, is located on Amalias Avenue, about 500 meters (1640ft) south-east of the Acropolis and about 700 meters (2296 ft) south of SyntagmaSquare. Its foundations were laid on the site of an earlier temple by the tyrant Pisistratus in 515 BC but the work wasabandoned when Pisistratus' son, Hippias, was overthrown in 510 BC. Floor plan of the Temple of Olympean Zeus area

The work was resumed in the 3rd century BC, during the period of Macedonian domination of Greece under the patronage of the Hellenistic king Antiochus IV of Syria who hired the Roman architectCossutius to design the largest temple in the known world. When Antoichus died in 164 BC, the work was delayed again. In the 2nd century AD, the temple was taken up again by Hadrian, a great admirer of Greek culture, who finally brought it to completion in 129.

Map of the Temple of Zeus

Temple of Olympian Zeus and the Precinct Wall
124 - 132 AD
Hadrians Gate
131 - 132 AD
Roman Baths
124 - 134 AD
Remains of houses
5th century BC - 2nd century AD
Basilica of Olympieion
450 AD
Valerian Wall
256 - 260 AD
Temple of Apollo Delphinios
450 BC
Lawcourt at the Delphinion
500 BC
Temple of Kronos and Rhea
150 AD
Sanctuary of Panhellenios Zeus
131 - 132 AD
Gates of the Themistoklean Wall
479 - 478 AD

The Temple of Olympian Zeus was built of marble from Mount Pentelus and measured 96 (315ft) meters along its sides and 40 meters (131ft) along its eastern and western faces. It consisted of 104 Corinthian columns each 17 meters (55,7ft) high of which 48 stood in triple rows under the pediments and 56 in double rows at the sides. Only 15 of these columns remain standing today. A 16th column was blownPainting of the Temple of Zeus in water colors by J.M. Wittmer (1833) – Benaki Museum down during a storm in 1852 and is still lying where it fell.

Hadrian dedicated the temple to Zeus (known to the Romans as Jupiter), the king of the gods. He erected a giant gold and ivory statue of Zeus in the cella and placed an equally large one of himself next to it. Nothing remains of these or anything else from the interior of the temple. It is not known when the building was destroyed but, like many large buildings in Greece, it was probably brought down by an earthquake during the mediaeval period, and the bulk of its ruins taken away for building materials.

Openings hours Opening hours and admission
Locaton map Amalias Avenue

Nearest metero station Acropoli
Photo gallery Temple of Zeus photos Top


      Hadrian's Arch
      The Temple of Zeus

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