There are many ancient Greek temples scattered around the world, and each one has its own unique history and significance. Although, from the stunning architecture and ornate carvings to the spiritual significance for many believers. Greek temples are some of humankind’s most awe-inspiring works of art.
Here is a list of some of the best Greek temples to visit.
Temple of Hera, Olympia
The Temple of Hera at Olympia is one of the best preserved Greek temples. It was built in the 6th century BC as a sanctuary to the Greek goddess of love and marriage, Hera. According to Greek mythology, the temple was dedicated to Hera by King Eurystheus to honor his daughter Europa who was abducted by Zeus in the form of a bull. The temple served as a place of pilgrimage for pilgrims from all over the Mediterranean world.
Temple of Hephaistos, Paestum
The Temple of Hephaestus in Paestum, Italy was built in the 5th century BC by the architects Diomedes and Alcamenes. It was one of the most important temples of Magna Graecia because it housed the sacred fire that was believed to have been brought to Earth by Prometheus. As an important center of learning and philosophy at the time, it was visited by many famous philosophers and poets such as Cicero and Virgil.
The Parthenon, Athens
The Parthenon, with its iconic architecture and ancient beauty, is the most famous of the landmarks in Athens. The stunning temple was built to honor Athena, goddess of wisdom and protector of Athens.
Along with the rest of the Acropolis complex, it has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its rich history and architectural wonder.
The Valley Of Temples
The Valley of Temples in Agrigento, Sicily is regarded as one of the most important archeological sites in the Mediterranean region and is an important reminder of Italy’s ancient history. The Temple of Concordia, built in the 5th century BC, is the best preserved in the Valley and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It is a popular tourist destination and a great place to visit if you are looking to learn about the history of Ancient Greece and Italy.
The Erechtheum or Erechtheion is a famous ancient Greek temple in Athens. It was built around 420 BC for Athen’s patron goddess, Athena Parthenos. The temple of Athena was dedicated to the patron goddess of the city.
It was a place of worship for the Athenians and was also the center of cultural activities and religious ceremonies. Later in its history, the temple was used as a public building and the meeting place for the city assembly.
Temple of Poseidon, Sounion
The Temple of Poseidon in Sounion Greece was constructed in the 5th century BC by the Athenian architect Chers. Dedicated to the Greek god of the sea, Poseidon, the temple is perched on a rocky headland overlooking the Aegean Sea. When it was built, the temple was the largest structure of its kind in Europe. Although, it remained intact until the Romans destroyed it in the 3rd century AD.
The Temple of Poseidon in Sounion is now an archaeological site. It is a popular tourist attraction and a great place to photograph breathtaking views of the Aegean Sea.
Temple of Olympian Zeus, Athens
The Temple of Zeus in Athens is the largest temple in Greece and is one of the most well preserved in the world. Construction on the temple began in 550 BC and it was completed 10 years later. The temple was rebuilt by Roman Emperor Hadrian in the 2nd century AD. Moreover, it remains a prominent landmark to this day and is frequently visited by tourists from around the world.
Temple of Apollo Epicurius, Delphi
The Temple of Apollo Epicurius at Delphi was built to honor Apollo, the god of music, poetry, healing, prophecy, and more. It was originally built in the late 7th century BC by the Athenian statesman Solon. Moreover, this temple was later rebuilt several times during the Middle Ages. The oracle at Delphi was a famous religious institution that the ancient Greeks would visit for advice and guidance. However, it was considered a sacred place and people from all over the world would come to Delphi in search of answers.
Temple of Aphaea, Agrigento
The Temple of Aphaea in Agrigento, Sicily is one of the most famous ancient buildings in Italy because of its unique design. The temple was built during the 6th century BC by the Phoenicians and is dedicated to the goddess Aphaia. Legend has it that the statue in the temple was originally crafted by Athena herself for the Olympic Games. However, the temple was destroyed by an earthquake in the 3rd century BC but was later restored. This temple remains a major tourist attraction today.
Temple of Artemis, Ephesus
The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus is one of the most popular archaeological sites in Turkey. It was built in the late 6th century BC and was dedicated to the Greek goddess of the moon and hunting, Artemis. It was also a sacred site for pilgrims from all over the Mediterranean region. However, the temple was destroyed twice during its history but was later rebuilt both times.
The Temple of Artemis was one of the largest structures of its day and it is one of the best preserved Greek temples in the world. Moreover, it is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and attracts thousands of visitors every year.