The Temple of Zeus at Olympia was an ancient Greek temple in Olympia, Greece,
dedicated to the main and most powerful god, Zeus. The temple, built between 472
and 456 BC, was the very model of the fully developed classical Greek temple of
the Doric order.
The temple, a peripteral hexastyle with thirteen columns
at the sides, has an east-west orientation. The columns, 10.43 metres high and
2.25 metres in diameter at the base, were of local shell-limestone, covered with
white stucco. Only the pedimental sculptures, roof tiles and lion's head water
spouts were of marble. The temple comprised a pronaos, cella and opisthodomos;
both the pronaos and opisthodomos were distyle in antis.
opulent sculptural decoration is a fine example of the Severe Style. The east
pediment depicted the chariot race between Pelops and Oinomaos, presided by
Zeus, master of the sanctuary, whose figure dominated the composition. The west
pediment depicted the battle of the Lapiths and Centaurs, arranged round the
central figure of Apollo. The twelve metopes, six at each end over the entrance
to the pronaos and the opisthodomos, depicted the Labours of Hercules, mythical
son of Zeus.