Are you a history fanatic? Are you fascinated by the ancient world of the Greeks? If so, check out here the most famous Greek temples you must visit on your next holiday.
Halkidiki is the closest area to the most sacred land for modern Greeks, Mount Athos, the secluded Orthodox monastic community that hosts more than 20 monasteries.
Generally, Greece has always had a religious culture. That’s why until today, around the world, you can find several ancient Greek temples on various archaeological sites. After all, the most important and widespread building type in ancient Greece was the temple.
The first stone temples appeared during the early 6th century BC and began to appear in large numbers in the next century. The purpose of a Greek temple was usually to house a cult statue or emblem.
Keep reading for an overview of the most famous Greek temples in Greece.
Located on top of the Acropolis, Parthenon is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Greece. A visit to Athens is not complete without visiting this temple. Parthenon’s construction started in 447 BC, replacing an older temple destroyed by the Persians. There was a massive statue of Athena Parthenos made from ivory, silver, and gold but got stolen by one of the Roman Emperors. During its long life, the Parthenon also served as a fortress, a church, a mosque, and a powder magazine.
Temple of Hephaestus
The Temple of Hephaestus is the best-preserved Greek temple in the world. The temple was built in the 5th century BC in the Agora district, which contained many foundries and metalwork shops. It was therefore dedicated to Hephaestos, the god of metalworking.
Temple of Apollo Epicurius
Located on a remote mountainside in the Peloponnese, the Temple of Apollo Epicurius at Bassae is a well-preserved and unusual Greek temple. It was built somewhere between 450 and 400 BC. It is described as unusual because all three classical orders were used in its construction. Doric columns form the peristyle, Ionic columns support the porch, and Corinthian columns feature the interior. The temple of Apollo Epicurius is presently covered in a tent to protect the ruins from the elements.
The Erechtheum is an ancient Greek temple of Ionic style on the north side of the Acropolis of Athens. The temple was built between 421 and 407 BC. Its name is derived from a shrine dedicated to the Greek hero Erichthonius. The temple is probably most famous for its distinctive porch supported by six female figures known as the Caryatids.
Temple of Poseidon
Located at the southernmost tip of the Attica peninsula in Greece, the Temple of Poseidon at Sounion is surrounded on three sides by the sea. Only some columns of the Temple of Poseidon stand today but intact, it would have closely resembled the Temple of Hephaestus beneath the Acropolis.
Temple of Olympian Zeus
Though only a few columns remain of the Temple of Olympia Zeus in Athens, it does not take much imagination to realize that this was one gigantic temple. Construction began in the 6th century BC during the rule of the Athenian tyrants. They envisaged building the greatest temple in the ancient world. However, it was not completed until the reign of the Roman Emperor Hadrian in the 2nd century AD, about 600 years after the project had begun.
Main Photo Credits : The Hephaestion in Athens (source)
Other photos: Wikipedia