Overview Of Temple of Hephaestus Athens

The Temple of Hephaestus is a well-preserved ancient Greek temple located on the western slope of the Acropolis hill in Athens, Greece. Built in the 5th century BCE, the temple is dedicated to the Greek god of fire and metalworking, Hephaestus, and the goddess of love and beauty, Aphrodite. Designed by the famous Greek architect Iktinos, the temple is considered one of the best-preserved temples of ancient Greece, with 34 Doric columns surrounding the exterior and a large cella that once housed a statue of Hephaestus and Aphrodite.


Over the centuries, the temple has served many purposes, including as a Greek Orthodox church and a mosque. Today, the temple is open to visitors who want to explore its ancient ruins and learn about its rich history. It is a must-visit attraction for anyone interested in ancient Greek history and architecture, and offers stunning views of the surrounding area, including the Acropolis and the ancient Agora.

Architecture of Temple of Hephaestus Athens

Architecture of Temple of Hephaestus Athens

The Temple of Hephaestus in Athens, Greece, is a masterpiece of ancient Greek architecture. Built in the 5th century BCE, the temple is made entirely of Pentelic marble and is surrounded by 34 Doric columns, which give it a strikingly symmetrical appearance. The columns are each 6.70 meters high and have a diameter of 1.08 meters at the base, and they support a series of decorative elements, including metopes and friezes.


The temple's pediments are also decorated with sculptural reliefs depicting scenes from Greek mythology, including the birth of Athena and the battle between Athena and Poseidon for control of Athens. The interior of the temple has a large cella, or inner sanctuary, which originally housed a statue of Hephaestus and Aphrodite. The walls of the cella were decorated with frescoes and ornate sculptures, though very little of these decorations survive today.


One of the most striking features of the Temple of Hephaestus is its use of the entasis technique. This involves a slight swelling of the columns in the middle to give the appearance of being perfectly straight when viewed from a distance. The temple also uses other subtle optical illusions, such as a slight curve in the floor and a tapering of the columns towards the top.

Things to See in Temple of Hephaestus Athens

Admire the Architecture
Admire the Architecture

The Temple of Hephaestus is considered one of the best-preserved ancient Greek temples and is a prime example of classical Greek architecture. Be sure to take a close look at the temple's columns, friezes, and metopes, which are adorned with intricate decorative elements.


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Explore the Interior
Explore the Interior

While the interior of the temple is not open to the public, visitors can still see the large cella (inner sanctuary) through the doorway. The cella was once decorated with ornate sculptures and frescoes, and originally housed a statue of Hephaestus and Aphrodite.


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See the Pediments
See the Pediments

The temple's pediments are decorated with sculptural reliefs depicting scenes from Greek mythology. The east pediment depicts the birth of Athena, while the west pediment shows the battle between Athena and Poseidon for control of Athens.

Take in the Views
Take in the Views

The Temple of Hephaestus is situated on the western slope of the Acropolis hill and provides stunning views of the surrounding area. Take some time to admire the views of the city from the temple's hilltop location.


Visit the Ancient Agora
Visit the Ancient Agora

The Temple of Hephaestus is located in the Ancient Agora, a large open-air marketplace and gathering place in ancient Athens. Visitors can explore the ruins of the Agora and see other ancient Greek buildings, including the Stoa of Attalos.

Know Before You Go

Essential Informations
Essential Informations

How To Reach:

Public Transportation: Visitors can take the Athens Metro to the Monastiraki station, which is a short walk from the Ancient Agora. Alternatively, several bus lines serve the area, including the 025, 026, 027, and 035 buses.

Taxi: Taxis are widely available in Athens and can be a convenient way to reach the Temple of Hephaestus. Taxis can be hailed on the street or reserved in advance through a taxi service or ride-sharing app.

Walking: For those staying in central Athens, the Temple of Hephaestus can be easily reached on foot. The temple is located approximately 1.5 kilometres (just under a mile) from the Acropolis, and the walk takes about 20-25 minutes.


Best Time To Visit:

The best time to visit the Temple of Hephaestus is during the spring and fall seasons when the weather is mild and comfortable for outdoor activities. During the summer months, the temple can get very crowded and hot, so it is best to visit early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid the crowds and heat. The temple is also open in the winter, but visitors should be prepared for colder weather and shorter daylight hours.


Opening Hours: 

Wednesday 8:30 am–3 pm

Thursday 8:30 am–3 pm

Friday       8:30 am–3 pm

Saturday 8:30 am–3 pm

Sunday 8:30 am–3 pm

Monday 8:30 am–3 pm

Tuesday 8:30 am–3 pm


FAQ's of Temple of Hephaestus Athens

What is the Temple of Hephaestus?

    The Temple of Hephaestus is an ancient Greek temple dedicated to the god of blacksmiths, Hephaestus. It was built in the 5th century BCE in Athens, Greece, and is considered one of the best-preserved ancient Greek temples.

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