TEMPLE OF OLYMPIAN ZEUS
The Temple of Olympian Zeus (Olympeion) was an enormous structure, the largest temple in Greece, exceeding even the Parthenon in size. Work began on this vast edifice in 515 BCE during the reign of the tyrant Peisistratos, who initiated the building work to gain public favor. Although there were several attempts over many years to finish the temple, it was not completed until 132 CE by the Emperor Hadrian. Although begun in the 6th century BC, it was not completed until the reign of the Emperor Hadrian in the 2nd century AD. In the Hellenistic and Roman periods it was the largest temple in Greece.
The 104 columns, each 17 meters (56 feet) high, of the temple were made of Pentelic marble. Only 15 of the Corinthian columns remain standing to give a sense of the enormous size of the temple which would have been approximately 96 x 40 meters (315 x 130 feet) in size.
After the construction of the temple of Zeus, the Athenians honored Hadrian by building an arched gateway in the northwest corner of the sanctuary in 131 CE. The arch, also built of Pentelic marble, bears two inscriptions. The one on the side facing the Acropolis (west facade) reads "This is Athens, the ancient city of Theseus" while the other, on the side facing the sanctuary and the extension of the city by Hadrian, reads "This is the city of Hadrian and not of Theseus".
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TEMPLE OF OLYMPIAN ZEUS PHOTOS