Hera Temple

Location: Ancient Olympia   

The Temple of Hera in Olympia: The temple of goddess Hera in Ancient Olympia was originally a temple for both Zeus and Hera. In the 7th century, this temple was built of wood, but eventually the wood was replaced by stone. One of the oldest monuments in Greece, the Temple of Hera became solely dedicated to the goddess, when the great Temple of Zeus was constructed nearby.

Today, it is at the altar of this temple that the Olympic flame is lit and carried to all parts of the world where the Olympic Games are being held. During excavations on the site of the temple, a marble head of Hera was discovered and the statue of Hermes, created by sculptor Praxiteles, which is hosted today in the archaeological museum of Olympia.

Located close to the stadium, the Temple of Hera was protected by a terrace wall. Dating back to 650 BC, historians believe that the original temple had only a room and a corridor, to which other structures were eventually added. During the Roman reign, the temple was transformed into a sort of museum, with invaluable treasures being kept inside.

The temple of Hera was constructed according to the Doric architecture and it had 16 columns. Its lower part was made of limestone, while the upper part was built with mud brick. Terracotta tiles have also been used. The entire structure consisted of three rooms. It is probable that the statues of Zeus and Hera were placed there and it is also believed that the Disk of Iphitos, which marked the beginning of the first Olympic Games, was also kept within the temple.

Although today it stands in ruins, the temple of Hera was much prestigious in the ancient times. Note that a full-sized copy of this structure has been built in Jasmine Hill Gardens in Alabama, USA.

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