TEMPLE OF HEPHAESTUS - Athens

Updated: Oct 19, 2021

Temple of Hephaestus - Athens

In approx. 450 BC (approx. 460-420 BC) under Pericles, perhaps the best-preserved temple of Classical Greece pictured here is realized; the Temple of Hephaestus god of metallurgy, fire & volcanoes.


By Alexios Demos on April 5, 2020
Temple of Hephaestus Frieze Detail Centaurs Ancient Agora Athens
Temple Frieze Detail | Temple of Hephaestus | Athens | © Copyright 2021 Alexios Demos

Indicative Information | Tickets Full: €10, Reduced: €5 | Visiting Times Summer: 08:00 -18:30 | Athens Adrianou 24 Postcode: 10555 | More info call +302103210196 / 2103210196

The photograph is highlighting part of the frieze (of the opisthodomos of the temple) depicting the battle of Centaurs and Lapiths!

“To think that on these grounds emblematic giants such as the great tragedian Sophocles & the philosopher Socrates came to converse with plain citizens makes me daydream in our age of mental poverty how profoundly enlightening and transformative even a 5-minute conversation with these titans could be on one’s life!”

This Doric temple came to be known as the “Theseum” during the Middle Ages since some of its marble sculpture (north & south side metopes) highlight the feats of the hero Theseus


Photographing Temple of Hephaestus Ancient Agora Athens
Take a Snap! | Temple of Hephaestus | Athens | © Copyright 2021 Alexios Demos

Temple of Hephaestus - Athens

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Walking around the Agora of Athens one is humbled from the fact that this space in the heart of Athens has been used for at least 5,000 years as the site was originally utilized as a residential & burial area in the Bronze Age (3000-1900 BC) and through the Mycenaen period as tholos (beehive) tombs have been discovered from 1600 BC on the grounds. Through the grains of sand, the Agora remains an important social meeting spot and reaches its acme during the 5th & 4th c. BC when extensive rebuilding takes place. The reconstruction took place because during the Greco-Persian wars the Agora is completely burned by Persians in 480 BC. The architectural rebuilding totally transforms the space as key public and administrative structures are added in the masterplan and in approx. 450 BC (approx. 460-420 BC) under Pericles, perhaps the best-preserved temple of Classical Greece pictured here is realized; the Temple of Hephaestus god of metallurgy, fire & volcanoes (the temple was also dedicated to Athena Ergane goddess of craftsmen). This Doric temple came to be known as the “Theseum” during the Middle Ages since some of its marble sculpture (north & south side metopes) highlight the feats of the hero Theseus (founding hero for Athenians & slayer of the Minotaur who regarded him as an important reformer!)

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Visiting these ethereal grounds and gazing upon the Parthenon and the Hephaisteion leaving the city noise of Athens behind you entering a serene space of marble and trees where the only perceivable sounds are birds chirping and the only visitors (besides the flocking tourists) are the friendly cats and tortoises makes you feel deeply grounded with nature and the ancient Gods! To think that on these grounds emblematic giants such as the great tragedian Sophocles & the philosopher Socrates came to converse with plain citizens makes me daydream in our age of mental poverty how profoundly enlightening and transformative even a 5-minute conversation with these titans could be on one’s life!

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This temple has stood the test time with greater success than others because in its long colorful history among other uses it was converted in the 7th c. AD into the Christian church of St. George Akamas. Once again in the 19th c. AD the grounds were converted into burial grounds for Protestants and westerners who had aided Greece in the Greek War of Independence (1821). The temple transitioned from the Gods to the Kings as the first king of Greece; King Otto was coronated here (1834). After the coronation the Temple functioned as the National Archaeological Museum of Athens of the newly re-founded and freed from Ottoman Rule Greece until 1930 when extensive excavation of the Agora began.

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Date of Visit: Nov 11, 2019 Weather Conditions: Humid afternoon visit 1 hour before closing time!

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Temple of Hephaestus From Afar Green Ancient Agora Athens
Rise to Prominence | Temple of Hephaestus | Athens | © Copyright 2021 Alexios Demos
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