10 Ancient Greek Temples – Most famous historical temples in Greece

Greek temples are built by the Hellenic people from 6th century BC until the 2nd century AD on the land of Greece. The temples don’t serve as meeting places. These are used to store the votive offerings. All the temples are constructed and resemble the Greek architecture. Greek temples are clearly defined in threes styles like Ionic order, Doric order and Corinthian order.

These are more widely used during the Hellenistic period. Every temple which is constructed is been dedicated to specific god within the pantheon which is used as a storehouse for votive offerings. The god and goddess were represented by a cult images which occupies the center part in the temple. In early days this is made of wood but as the years passed these are modified with costly materials like stone or cast bronze.

These ancient temples till date form a major attraction for global tourists among other worth visiting sites. Let’s have a look on some of the famous Greek temples:

10 Ancient Greek Temples:

1.      Valley of the temples

Valley of the temples

This is an archaeological site in Agrigento of Sicily, Southern Italy. Want to know about greater Greece art and architecture? Then you should not miss this site. It is the main attractions of Sicily and also a national monument of Italy. Nearly eight temples build between 510 BC and 430 BC. They are temple of Concordia, temple of Olympian Zeus, temple of Hephaestos, temple of Demeter, temple of Heracles, temple of castor and pollux, temple of Asclepius and temple of Hera. All these temples lie in the same area on rocky crests south of modern day Agrigento.

2.      Doric temple of Segesta

Doric temple of Segesta

Segesta is the major cities of Elymian people which is located in the northwestern part of Sicily in Italy. It is only the freestanding limestone temple in Sicily. Doric temple stands on the edge of deep ravine carved by the Pispisa River. Though it is typical Doric temple but the columns were still never fluted. The roof is never added and architectural components are also missing

3.      Temple of Poseidon at Sounion

Temple of Poseidon at Sounion

Cape Sounion is located at the southernmost tip of Attica peninsula in Greece. The temple of Poseidon at Sounion is surrounded three sides by sea. The temple of Poseidon was constructed approximately 440 BC ago. It ruins the temple dating from the archaic period. It is 70m height above from the sea. Hexastyle is design of the temple had a front portico with six columns. Among many greek temples the Poseidon building was rectangular with four sides colonnade.

4.      Temple of Apollo Epicurius

Temple of Apollo Epicurius

Temple of Apollo Epicurius is located on a remote mountainside in the Peloponnese at Bassae. It is the large, mysterious and well preserved classical temple. Temple is famous to the god of healing. The sun was build towards the middle of 5th century B.C in the heights of Arcadian mountains. Now the temple is covered with tent in order to protect the ruins from the elements. 

5.      Parthenon, Acropolis

Parthenon, Acropolis

Parthenon is one of the most tourist attractions in Greece. It is the most important temple on the Athenian acropolis dedicated to the maiden goddess Athena. People considered Athens as their patron deity. Temple is decorated with number of sculptures and reliefs. Most of them are shifted to the British museum in London but some are at Acropolis museum. The structure of the temple is really nice where the columns are slightly slanted inwards and have a curved shape. People think that ancient temples always had natural and marble colors but the statues in the Antiquity were often colorful. The roof of the temple is brightly painted in blue and gold colors. 

6.      Temple of Olympian Zeus

Temple of Olympian Zeus

This is also called as Columns of the Olympian Zeus. It is a colossal ruined temple in the centre of the Greek capital Athens. It is one of the largest ancient Greek temples in Greece. Pentelic marble is used in constructing the temple. There are 104 columns each 17 meters high. It is situated on the bank of river Ilissus which is southeast of the Acropolis. The temple got damages by an earthquake during the medieval period. Nothing remains from the interior of the temple.

7.      Erechtheum

Erechtheum

Erechtheum is an ancient Greek ionic temple of Athena. It was built between 421 and 406 B.C. This is dedicated to the Greek hero Erichthonius. The temple is famous for the distinctive porch which is supported by six female figures known as the Caryatids. Some of the people believe that the temple was erected in honor of the king Erechtheus.

8.      Paestum

Paestum

Have you visited this ancient Greek city? Paestum is the city which lies on the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea in Magna Graecia. It is conquered by the Lucanians and later by the Romans. There are three ancient Greek temples which are in good state of preservation. The temple of Hera is the oldest temple in Paestum build around 550 BC by Greek colonists. Another temple which builds a century later and dedicated to Hera, who is the goddess of marriage and childbirth.

9.      Temple of Hephaestus

Temple of Hephaestus

Temple of Hephaestus is also known as the Hephaisteion. It is one of the well preserved greek temple. Hephaestus is a Doric preipteral temple which is located at the north-west side of the Agora of Athens on the top of Agoraios Kolonos hill. Temple was built in 5th century BC. The building is constructed with Pentelic marble. It is decorated with sculpture and ceiling is wooden. There is a limestone step at the bottom of the platform. The roof tiles are made up of terracotta. 

10. Temple of Zeus at Cyrene

Temple of Zeus at Cyrene

The temple built in the folds of the hills in Eastern Libya which is called as graceful city if Cyrene. Cyrene is a vast ancient greek city founded in 631 BC. It got destroyed during a Jewish rebellion in 115 AD. Later it was restored by romans on order of Emperor Hadrian after 5 years. The temple is larger than the Parthenon. The columns of the temple lean inwards to ensure that they visible straight to the viewer. Animal sacrifices were carried in this temple to the god Zeus.

Dr Prem Jagyasi (c)

Dr Prem is an award winning strategic leader, renowned author, publisher and highly acclaimed global speaker. Aside from publishing a bevy of life improvement guides, Dr Prem runs a network of 50 niche websites that attracts millions of readers across the globe. Thus far, Dr Prem has traveled to more than 40 countries, addressed numerous international conferences and offered his expert training and consultancy services to more than 150 international organizations. He also owns and leads a web services and technology business, supervised and managed by his eminent team. Dr Prem further takes great delight in travel photography.

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