The Temple of the Olympian Zeus, Greece is in the heart of modern Athens. The Olympeion, a half-ruined temple is dedicated to Zeus stands an enormous open space bordered by trees and shrubs. Only 500m from Acropolis and 700m from the Syntagma Square. The Temple of Olympian Zeus is also very close to Panathinaic Stadium, the Hadrian’s Arch and Zappeion Megaron.
A unique archaeological park where earth and sky seem to meet, linked by massive marble columns stretching upward. Once you enter this magnificent sanctuary you are in awe of the super human scale of the Temple Ruins. The Olympeion has always been an Athenian landmark.
It was the tyrant Peisistratus at 520 BC that started the building of the Temple. Though it was unfinished at the end of their rule of him and his sons. It took 300 years to start he rebuilding by one of Athens’ Hellenistic benefactors, the Seleucid king Antiochus IV Epiphanes. But even Antiochus did not manage to finish this monument structure. It was the Roman emperor Hadrian that managed to finish the Temple at AD 132. Emperor Hadrian was an ardent Hellenophile much respected by the people of the Greek East.
Hadrian beyond the completion of the Temple of Olympian Zeus in Athens, had a major building program throughout the area. Many Temples and a new public forum on the north side of the Acropolis that contained a library and lecture halls. Above all, he was the one that constructed the urban water system fed by an aqueduct from Mount Penteli. It was that system (that still works!) that supplied Athens with clear water until the 1930s.