Temple of Olympian Zeus in Athens

A reader asks about the location of the Arch of Hadrian that we wrote about in the previous post. The Arch is on the busy Leoforos Amalias. If you approach the arch and go through it, it leads to a park where the  Temple of Olympian Zeus, or Olympieion, stands. This is the area east of the Acropolis. The first photo shows the view from the Acropolis. The Temple is clearly visible. On the left you may also see the Olympic Stadium. The Arch of Hadrian is visible near the lower left corner.

The Temple of Olympian Zeus from the Acropolis. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

The Temple of Olympian Zeus from the Acropolis. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

If you enter the park through the Arch of Hadrian you will have a nice view of the what remains of the Temple.

The Temple of Olympian Zeus in Athens. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

The Temple of Olympian Zeus in Athens. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

The Blue Guide on Athens and Environs says this is “the largest temple in Greece. It took 700 years to complete.” A temple was begun here as early as 550 B.C., but was not completed until the time of Hadrian.

Perhaps Paul saw this temple as he visited the sites of the city while awaiting the coming of Silas and Timothy from Macedonia.

For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. (Act 17:23 ESV)

A map of Athens showing the central area, including the Arch of Hadrian, is available here.

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2 responses to “Temple of Olympian Zeus in Athens

  1. Thanks. I probably have seen the arch, but couldn’t remember where it was located, but this would have been my guess.

  2. Oh, and I should add the Temple of Olympian Zeus is an impressive structure, despite what so little remains of it.

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