Temple of Zeus Olympia (Olympia)

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.

The temple's 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.

 

Top tourist attractions:

Greece - Olympia

The Archaeological Museum
Temple of Zeus Olympia
Temple of Hera Olympia
Ancient Stadium

The Museum of the Olympic Games
Olympia Philippeion

 

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