The dipteral Temple of Olympian Zeus is the largest temple in Greece (110.35 x 43.68 m). Its construction was begun by the the tyrant Peisistratidies in 515 BC but not completed until 132 AD by the Roman Emperor Hadrian.
Hadrian had a love affair with all things Greek and particularly Athens, where he was responsible for much reconstruction and has a modern street named in his honor: Adrianou in the Plaka quarter, across from the temple.
Prior to Hadrian, others, and most particularly the Syrian King Antiochus IV Epiphanes undertook to complete the temple in 174 BC. He kept to the original plan but changed the style from Doric to Corinthian and engaged the Roman architect Cossutius to oversee its completion. Antiochus died however and construction was suspended until the time of Hadrian.
There were originally 104 Corinthian columns ranged in double rows on the side and triple rows on each end.
Only 16 columns remain, 15 erect and one prone.
Admission fee charged.
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