Athens Hephaestus temple

Location: Thissio

The Temple of Hephaestus in Athens, Attica: The Temple of Hephaestus is the best preserved ancient temple in Greece. It was dedicated to Hephaestus, the ancient god of fire and Athena, goddess of pottery and crafts. According to the archeologists, the temple was built around 450 B.C. at the western edge of the city, on top of Agoreos Koronos hill, and it is a classic example of Dorian architecture. The temple was designed by Iktinus, one of the talented architects who also worked on Parthenon, However, many other craftsmen worked at this fantastic temple.

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The temple has 6 columns on the short east and west sides and 13 on the north and south sides. Its friezes and other decorations have been greatly damaged by earthquakes and invasions along the centuries. The temple is located in Thissio, within a short distance from the Acropolis and Monastiraki, just above the Ancient Agora and the Stoa of Attalos. It was built from Pentelic marble, while its sculptures are made of Parian marble. It has a pronaos, a cella, and an opisthodomos. The temple is peripheral, with columns that surround the centrally enclosed cella. Both of them are decorated with friezes.

The east and west sides of the temple are shorter whereas the north and the south sides are longer. On the eastern front of the temple, there are sculptures depicting the labors of Hercules and the battle of Theseus with the Pallentides, the fifty children of Pallas. On the west side, the sculptures depict the fall of Troy.

From the 7th century A.D. till 1834, this temple was an Orthodox church dedicated to Saint George Akamatus. The last Holy Mass took place in February 1833, when King Otto arrived in Greece. In the 19th century, the temple was used as a burial place for the non-Orthodox Europeans and philhellenes. Actually, the archeological excavations revealed many graves. In 1834, King Otto ordered the building to be used as a museum where it actually remained as such until 1934. Today, this temple is one of the greatest ancient monuments in Greece. Reconstruction and excavation works are still carried out.

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How to get there

There are many ways to reach the Temple of Hephaestus, from any location in Athens.

Private transfers: We recommend using an online pre-booked Athens transfer service, which provides transfer by taxi, minibus or private VIP car and arranging a pickup directly from the port, airport or your hotel. Alternatively, there’s the option of arranging a pickup by a local driver directly at the following numbers: 0030 693 881 8288, 0030 694 597 2090, 0030 690 943 9292 or book your taxi online.

On foot: As the Temple of Hephaestus is located in a central area of Athens, it can be easily reached on foot from Thissio metro station or Monastiraki metro station, in less than 10 minutes.

By metro: The closest metro stations are “Thissio” on line 1 and “Monastiraki” on lines 1 & 3. Note that the Temple of Hephaestus is located within a 10-minute walking distance from the metro. Get a map of the metro here.

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