Saturday, August 23, 2008
Athens: Temple of the Olympian Zeus
Athens in August is like an oven, but the good news is that most of the residents leave town, so the traffic is light and one has the pick of tables at restaurants.
Right in the center of Athens is this enormous ruin, the largest temple built in Ancient Greece -- even larger than the Parthenon.
Work began in the 6th century BC and was finally completed 650 years later by the Roman Emperor Hadrian. My hotel was directly across the street, so this became the first stop on my Athens tour.
Only 15 of the original 104 Corinthian columns remain, each 56 feet high.
A view of the site from atop the Acropolis, which I toured in the afternoon and follows this post.
At one end of the site is Hardian's Arch, 131 AD, which marked the boundary between the ancient city of Athens and the new city of Hadrian.