Temple of Olympian Zeus Tavel Guide
The Temple of Olympian Zeus is a colossal ruined temple in the centre of the Greek capital Athens that was dedicated to Zeus, king of the Olympian gods. The 1896 Olympic Stadium and Hadrian's Arch are located nearby and only the ruins remain today. Construction began in the 6th century BC during the rule of the Athenian tyrants, who envisaged building the greatest temple in the ancient world, but it was not completed until the reign of the Roman Emperor Hadrian in the 2nd century AD some 638 years after the project had begun. During the Roman periods it was renowned as the largest temple in Greece and housed one of the largest cult statues in the ancient world. The temple is impressive for the sheer size of its 104 Corinthian columns (17m high with a base diameter of 1. 7m), of which 15 remain – the fallen column was blown down in a gale in 1852. Hadrian put a colossal statue of Zeus in the cella and, in typically immodest fashion, placed an equally large one of himself next to it.