Temple of the Olympian Zeus


The Temple of the Olympian Zeus, located on the southeastern side of the Acropolis, is the largest ancient temple in Greece, whose construction began in the early 6th century BC and finally completed 700 years later, by the Roman Emperor Hadrian.

The temple was dedicated to Zeus, having a length 96 meters at the ends and 40 meters to the east and west facade. Today there are 14 out of 104 Corinthian columns, with a height of 17 meters and diameter of 2.6 all made from Pentelic marble.
Nearby is the Arch of Hadrian, a momentual gateway resembling, that spanned an ancient road from the center of Athens to the complex of structures on the eastern side of the city that included the Temple of Olympian Zeus.

It has been proposed that the arch was built to celebrate the arrival of the Roman Emperor Hadrian and to honor him for his many benefactions to the city in 131 or 132 AD.

There were two inscriptions on the arch, facing in opposite directions, naming both Theseus and Hadrian as founders of Athens: on one side “This is Athens, city of Theseus” and on the other side “This is the city of Hadrian, not of Theseus”.

The entire monument is made of Pentelic marble. The arch was constructed without cement or mortar from solid marble, using clamps to connect the cut stones. It is 18m high, 13.5m wide, and 2.3m in depth.