Zeus was busy today on Mount Olympus making thunder that boomed loudly, with moments of heavy rain. Not deterred after my morning’s successful trip to the Kallidromiou Market, rain and thunder/no rain and thunder, I was off to Plaka!
I took the Metro to the Acropolis Station that would get me close to Plaka. I walked up from the Metro station, smack into tourist central – The Acropolis Hub!!
Overwhelmed by the crowds, my plan to go to Plaka suddenly fell apart as I realized I didn’t know the exact location of this quaint neighborhood. So, with Zeus’s thunder rumbling loudly across the darkened skies, I decided to step back in history and visit his temple, located in the park across the street from the Acropolis!
The entrance to Zeus’s temple is Hadrian’s Arch. This was built in 131-132 AD by Athenians in honor of emperor Hadrian for all his good deeds in Athens.
As I enter the park, I get a great view of the Acropolis.
Now it’s time to visit Zeus’s Temple! First, I enter through the Gateway To Olympian.
The Temple of Olympian Zeus:
Here is the Coles Notes version of the story behind this Temple of Olympian Zeus:
Building started in 515BC by a guy who was the grandson of a tyrant. There was an overthrow in government and building reached as far as the podium (wherever that is?). It was completed by the emperor Hadrian who inaugurated it in 131-132 BC.
This temple was one of the largest in the ancient world. It started to deteriorate in the 5th c. AD due to natural causes and human activities. In 1852 one of the columns in the temple toppled during a storm and has been lying there ever since.
Here is a video of the grounds, with a surprise appearance from Zeus!! I didn’t notice him when I took the video….it was when I watched it and then noticed his flash of lightening in the clouds!!
Other areas of the temple:
This is behind the precinct wall that were once Roman baths and the remains of houses.
This is on the way to the classical houses.
I’m not sure what these ruins are. I couldn’t find signage for it. Maybe it was once a Turkish Bath area?
Cool tree along the Valerian Wall.
Temple of Kronos and Rhea