Temple of Hephaestus, Athens

Temple of Hephaestus, though in ruins, looked more complete compared to Parthenon. It was built two years prior to Parthenon in 449 BC. This one is made out of marble completely; and to me the pillars looked grand and strong enough for many more centuries. It gives a fairly good idea of Parthenon’s form had it been complete.

This temple is believed to have been dedicated to Athena and Hephaestus. Hephaestus is the Greek God for volcanoes and metal working. Athena Ergena, a form of their goddess Athena is responsible for pottery and other crafts.

But again like other temples this Temple of Hephaestus too played the role of place of worship to other religions. In 7th century it got converted to Church of St. George Akamas. In early 19th century this became the burial ground for Protestants and for many who died in Greek war of independence in 1821. After 1834 this got converted to a museum till 1930s, since then it is in its present state and I like it a lot this way.

This is the best preserved temple I saw in Athens and liked it more after seeing the sad state Parthenon was in. The interior is out of bounds for public. There were huge statues of Athena and Hephaestus, but now it is empty, the walls have well preserved engravings and sculptures with different themes in all four sides. The frieze on the east front of the Temple, facing the Ancient Agora has sculptures depicting the labors of Hercules.

I have tried to capture this grand monument from various angles; the light was good that day thankfully!





Our World Tuesday

Agora and Other Archeological Sites, Athens
Parthenon, Athens

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