TEMPLE OF NEMEAN ZEUS - Ancient Nemea

Updated: Oct 19, 2021

Temple of Nemean Zeus - Ancient Nemea

I present to you the imposing Temple of the Nemean Zeus (330 BC) with its towering slender 10.33m tall columns!


By Alexios Demos on April 16, 2020
Temple of Nemean Zeus Ancient Nemea
Temple of Apollo | Archaeological Site of Nemea | © Copyright 2021 Alexios Demos

Indicative Information | Tickets Full: €6, Reduced: €3 | Visiting Times Summer: 08:00 -20:00 | Ancient Nemea, Nemea (Prefecture of Korinthia) Postcode: 20500 | More info call +302746024303 / 2746024303

Everything is grandee about this structure, testament that it was built in a time of high confidence in an ambitious Macedonian architectural site redevelopment project one year after Alexander the Great practically defeated the Persian Empire at the Battle of Gaugamela (331 BC).

“Personally, awe struck from these dominating columns I assumed that the Nemean Zeus is a deity interchangeable with Zeus King of the Gods, yet this is not true as the Nemean Zeus was rather the god of shepherds & shepherding!”

What I especially like about this sanctuary is its mythological link to the 12 Labors of Hercules.


Temple of the Nemean Zeus - Ancient Nemea

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I present to you the imposing Temple of the Nemean Zeus (330 BC) with its towering slender 10.33m tall columns! Personally, awe struck from these dominating columns I assumed that the Nemean Zeus is a deity interchangeable with Zeus King of the Gods, yet this is not true as the Nemean Zeus was rather the god of shepherds & shepherding! Everything is grandee about this structure, testament that it was built in a time of high confidence in an ambitious Macedonian architectural site redevelopment project one year after Alexander the Great practically defeated the Persian Empire at the Battle of Gaugamela (331 BC). Architecturally the temple is significant as three different orders, Classical Doric exterior peristyle columns but in the interior Corinthian with a secondary level of Ionic Columns were used, hence stylistically showcasing the transition from the Classical period (510-323 BC) to the Hellenistic period (323-31 BC)

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The site that served as the Sanctuary of Zeus at Nemea was initiated in the early 6th c. BC due to the fact that in 573 BC the Nemean sporting Games (573 BC-271 BC) were established running every 2 years and were incorporated into the Panhellenic Games (imagine something like the Olympic Games of today). In fact, the much younger Nemean Games in Ancient Greece were nearly equal to the Olympic Games who were also another part of the Panhellenic Games.

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What I especially like about this sanctuary is its mythological link to the 12 Labors of Hercules. Here is where Hercules had to slay the golden furred ferocious Nemean Lion who inhabited the caves of Mt. Tritos near the site. Mr. Nemean Lion was especially sneaky as he would physically transform into the form of a young woman in trouble and would lure warriors to rescue “her” and then would morph back into a lion and happy meal them munch munch! Of course, Hercules saves the day and hence a mythological tie is cemented between honoring Zeus the father of Hercules and the Nemean Games!

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Date of Visit: Jan 10, 2020 Weather Conditions: Noon visit on a wonderful winter Friday!

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