The Temple of Olympian Zeus (Greek: Ναός του Ολυμπίου Διός or Naos tou Olimpiou Dios) seen from the top of the Acropolis.
Also known as the Olympieion, it is a colossal ruined temple in the centre of the Greek capital Athens that was dedicated to Zeus, king of the Olympian gods. Construction began in the 6th century BC during the rule of the Athenian tyrants, who envisaged building the greatest temple in the ancient world, but it was not completed until the reign of the Roman Emperor Hadrian in the 2nd century AD some 650 years after the project had begun.
During the Roman periods it was renowned as the largest temple in Greece and housed one of the largest cult statues in the ancient world. Hadrian’s Arch can be seen at bottom left.
The temple’s glory was shortlived, as it fell into disuse after being pillaged in a barbarian invasion in the 3rd century AD. It was probably never repaired and was reduced to ruins thereafter. In the centuries after the fall of the Roman Empire, the temple was extensively quarried for building materials to supply building projects elsewhere in the city. Despite this, substantial remains remain visible today and it continues to be a major tourist attraction.
Only 15 of the original 104 columns remain standing today and a sixteenth column lies on the ground where it fell during a storm in 1852.
Information from Wikipedia.
Single RAW image Tonemapped in Photomatix Pro 3.2.
Camera: Canon EOS 450D (Digital Rebel XSi in the USA)
Lens: Sigma 18-200mm
BEST VIEWED LARGER