Temple of Olympian Zeus Skip-the-Line Ticket

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Athens
Athens
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Product code: EF011

The Temple of Olympian Zeus (124-132 AD) is located between the Acropolis and the Ilissos river and it was the sanctuary of Olympian Zeus. Here stands one of the greatest ancient temples of Zeus and one of the most famous marble buildings ever constructed. The temple had three rows of eight columns (tripteral octastyle) on the two narrow sides and two rows of twenty columns (dipteral eikosastyle) on the long sides. It once housed the chryselephantine (gold and ivory) statue of Zeus and the statue of the emperor. Sixteen of the temple’s columns survive today, thirteen of them, on the east side, intact. Of the remaining three on the west side, one collapsed in 1852.

The archaeological site comprises the temple of Olympian Zeus, Roman baths, Classical residences, a basilica of the fifth century AD, and part of the city’s fortification wall.

Hadrian’s Arch is located just outside the site’s fence.

Other important monuments of the site are the Doric peripteral temple of Apollo Delphinios (500 BC), the Delphinion Court with its spacious courtyard and chambers to the north (500 BC), the gates of the Themistoclean Wall (479-478 BC), the temple of Panhellenic Zeus (131-132 AD), and the small peripteral temple of Kronos and Rea (150 BC). Other Parilissia Sanctuaries were located outside of the archaeological site of the Olympeion and the city walls. These include the temple of Artemis Agrotera above Ardittou Street (in modern Mets) and the temple of Pan near the church of Agia Fotini.

The temple of Olympian Zeus , one of the site’s most important monuments, 

The sanctuary’s foundation is attributed to mythical Deukalion. The site also comprises the temple of Apollo Delphinios – the sanctuary of Apollo Delphinios was traditionally associated with Theseus – and a tripartite building with a south courtyard of ca. 500 BC. The latter has been identified as the Delphinion Court, which was allegedly founded by Aegeas.

The site of the Temple of Olympian Zeus was a place of worship since prehistory. The construction of a monumental temple was initiated in 515 BC, but failed to be completed because of the fall of tyranny. The temple remained unfinished for approximately 400 years, until Antiochus IV Epiphanes resumed its construction in 174 BC. It was completed in AD 124/125 by Emperor Hadrian, who associated himself with Zeus and adopted the title of Olympios. A large poros temple dedicated to Apollo Delphinios was also built on the site around 450 BC. It was abandoned in the third century AD. The temple was Doric peripteral with two columns in antis on the front and back. In the second century AD, Hadrian built a Roman temple of the Doric order, with a built enclosure and an outdoor altar, probably of Kronos or Rea. A Roman peristyle for the meetings of the Chapter of the Panhelleloi was also constructed in the same area, and a possible residence of a prominent member of the Chapter was added on the rock of the Olympian Land in the Late Roman period.

A new city wall, the so-called Valerian Wall, was erected under Emperor Valerius in the third century AD, possibly on the same line as the Classical Themistoclean Wall. A large Late Roman cemetery developed outside the wall in the fourth and fifth centuries AD, and an extensive Byzantine settlement with many houses and workshops, including tanneries and an olive press, developed over the ruins of the Classical temple in the eleventh-twelfth centuries. This settlement had at least one main street, the so-called Ancient Street.

E. Penrose and G. Weltet excavated the sanctuary of Zeus in 1883-1886 and in 1922 respectively. Excavations around the temple were carried out by the Archaeological Society of Athens in 1886-1907 and by the architect Ioannis Travlos in the 1960’s. The archaeologist Ioannis Threpsiadis also excavated here.

The area south of the Olympeion comprises the Parilissia Sanctuaries (sanctuaries located by the Ilissos river) and was unified with the existing archaeological site of the Olympeion during the Unification of the Archaeological Sites of Athens project. The unified archaeological site comprises two new guard-posts, one on Vasilissis Olgas Avenue and another on the banks of the Ilissos, near the church of Agia Fotini, as well as sanitary facilities (also suitable for the physically challenged), a gift shop, and a storeroom.

The individual ticket can be used on any date within the applicable visit period Apr-Oct or Nov-Mar.

Address

Vas. Olgas Avenue, Athens (Prefecture of Attiki) (Google Maps)

Free admission days

  • 6 March (In Memory of Melina Mercouri)
  • 18 April (International Monuments Day)
  • 18 May (International Museums Day)
  • The last weekend of September annually (European Heritage Days)
  • 28 October (Greek National Holiday)
  • Every first Sunday from November 1st to March 31st

Winter season hours (1 November - 31 March)

  • The site is open 8:00-15:00 (Last entrance to the Site at 14.30)

Summer season hours (1 April - 31 October)

  • The site is open 8:00-19:30 (Last entrance to the Site at 19:10)
  • 1st to 15th September 08:00 - 19:30 (Last entrance to the Site at 19:10)
  • 16th to 30th September 08:00 - 19:00 (Last entrance to the Site at 18:40)
  • 1st to 15th October 08:00 - 18:30 (Last entrance to the Site at 18:10)
  • 16th to 30th October 08:00 - 18:00 (Last entrance to the Site at 17:40)

Other dates

  • Closed: 1 January, 25 March, Greek Orthodox Easter Sunday, 1 May, 25 and 26 December

More info

  • This ticket includes skip-the-line access
  • The archaeological site is accessible to people with physical disabilities. Accessible toilets are available. The Archaeological Site of Olympieio is wheelchair accessible at its largest part through the main entrance, Vassilisis Olgas Av. (assistance by a companion is recommended). There are also toilets for individuals with disabilities at the site. Tactile site plans and brochures in Braille in Greek and English for visually impaired visitors are available at the ticket office.
  • Pets are not allowed inside the site. Guide and assistance dogs accompanying individuals with disabilities are welcome.

Cancellation policy

  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded. Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
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