Temple of Hephaestus, Athens

Temple of Hephaestus, Athens (must see)

The temple dedicated to Hephaestus, the best-preserved ancient Greek temple, has maintained its integrity in part due to its transformation into a Greek Orthodox church from the 7th to the 19th centuries. Standing on a hill on the north-west side of the Agora, it may not match the grandeur of the Parthenon's remains or the colossal temple of the Olympian Zeus, but it offers a genuine sense of the true proportions of an authentic Greek temple, thanks to its mostly intact structure.

In Greek mythology, Hephaestus was the deity associated with fire, metalworking, blacksmiths, and artisans. Only he possessed the skill to craft the magnificent and indestructible bronze residences where the other Olympian gods dwelled.

Construction of the temple began in 449 BC, and some scholars suggest that it may have taken around three decades to complete, as resources and labor were diverted towards the Parthenon. As documented in the "Description of Greece" by Greek traveler Pausanias in the 2nd century AD, the temple once housed bronze statues of Athena and Hephaestus. The surroundings have been adorned with trees and shrubs, creating a small garden where visitors can find shaded spots and enjoy excellent views of other historical sites.

Tips:
You can explore this site with the Acropolis multi-site ticket, which is highly recommended. Consider obtaining an audio guide for a richer experience. While entry inside the structure is restricted, you can walk around it to admire the decorative friezes adorning its exterior.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Athens. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Temple of Hephaestus on Map

Sight Name: Temple of Hephaestus
Sight Location: Athens, Greece (See walking tours in Athens)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Athens, Greece

Create Your Own Walk in Athens

Create Your Own Walk in Athens

Creating your own self-guided walk in Athens is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Athens Introduction Walking Tour

Athens Introduction Walking Tour

Athens is one of the oldest European cities, widely regarded as the birthplace of Western Civilization. Its history begins in the Neolithic period between 4th and 3rd millennium BC. The first settlement on the site of Athens was situated on the rock of Acropolis which means “high city” in Greek.

According to the Greek mythology, the name “Athens” emerged from a competition between the...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.2 Km or 2.6 Miles
Plaka Attractions Walking Tour

Plaka Attractions Walking Tour

In the shadow of the Acropolis stands Plaka, the most picturesque and oldest district of Athens, with continuous habitation from antiquity until today. The “neighborhood of the Gods”, as it is called, is like a romantic, atmospheric trip to old Athens adorned with antiquities, historic 19th-century buildings, museums and Byzantine churches.

From the vibrant Syntagma Square walking down...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.6 Km or 2.2 Miles
Athens Food Walking Tour

Athens Food Walking Tour

Traditional Greek cuisine is one of the healthiest in the world, and prices in all but the flashiest establishments afford excellent value. The prevalence of vegetable and dairy dishes makes eating out a delight for non-meat eaters. Carefully selected appetizers (tzatzíki, dolmádes, kalamarákia) can constitute a full meal. Greece’s most famous slow-cooked oven dish, however, is probably...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 Km or 1.4 Miles
Walking Around the National Garden

Walking Around the National Garden

The National Garden is an impressive, historic park in the center of Athens, complete with artificial streams and duck ponds. Formerly known as the Royal Garden, it was commissioned by King Otto’s queen, Amalia, in 1838, reason why it is located directly behind the Old Palace (currently the Greek Parliament building). Not only is it a welcome refuge from the swirl of traffic just outside the...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 Km or 2.1 Miles
Walking Tour Around the Legendary Acropolis

Walking Tour Around the Legendary Acropolis

Also called "the sacred rock", the Acropolis was home to temples and sanctuaries throughout recorded history, and is a symbol of the city of Athens. Its religious importance was paramount to the ancient Greeks, and the buildings on the summit still capture the essence of their classical architecture. You can see the temples from most parts of the city, which adds to the feeling that this...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.0 Km or 0.6 Miles

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