Temple of Hephaestus

Temple of Hephaestus

This is one of the best-preserved temples in Greece. It was dedicated to its name’s sake who was the god of fire and to Athena the goddess of pottery and crafts. Built around 450 BC it was designed by one of the talented architects who also assisted with the Parthenon. Some of the original friezes (painted decorations) still can be seen although they have all been damaged. On the east side of the temple, the sculptures depict the battle of Theseus with the Pallentides, and on the west side, the depiction of the fall of Troy.

The temple was used as an Orthodox church that was dedicated to Saint George Akamatus from the 7th century until 1834. The last Holy Mass occurred in 1833 when King Otto arrived in Greece. Then in the 19th century, the temple and surrounding land were used for burials of non-Orthodox individuals. In 1834, King Otto declared the temple a museum. Reconstruction and excavation works are still being carried out today.

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