14 Famous Ancient Greek Temples And Where To Find Them 

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Post author SJ

Written by our local expert SJ

Sarah-Jane has lived in Croatia for 10+ years. SJ, as she is known, has been traveling the Balkans & beyond since 2000. She now shares her passion for traveling with her husband & kids.

Here is your guide to Greek temples to visit. We have covered a wide variety, so all you have to decide is which one of these temples in Greece you will see first.

Greece Travel Blog_Most Famous Temples In Greece And Where To Find Them

The ruins of Ancient Greece can be seen all over the country, including Turkey and the south of Italy. These were important spots where people went to worship the gods, but they were also places where statues of the gods were kept safe. In Ancient Greece, they believed that the spirits of the gods could be found inside the statues.

From that description, you can understand why such temples were so grand and intricate.

Famous Ancient Greek Temples You Can Visit Today

While many lie in ruins today, some are exceptionally well preserved, and you can head out and see many of them on your travels. However, remember that the Ancient Greeks moved around and conquered plenty of land! For that reason, these temples are spread over a huge space.

1. Temple of Hera, Olympia

Temples In Greece_Temple of Hera, Olympia

This is perhaps one of the most important, if not THE most important, of all Greek temples. Located in Olympia, the temple is dedicated to Hera, the most important goddess in the pantheon. This is the oldest temple found in Olympia, and it was thought to have been built in 590 BC before being partially destroyed by a massive earthquake in the 4th century AD.

Just before the Olympic games, you’ll see the Olympic flame lit at the altar of the huge temple before it is carried around the world.

2. Temple Of Poseidon At Sounio

Greek Temples - Temple of Poseidon, Sounio

The temple of Poseidon at Sounion was built between 444 and 440 BC; this vast temple is one of the most important in Ancient Greece. It stands more than 60 meters high and is in a beautiful spot overlooking the sea. 

The Greek temple located at the tip of the Attica peninsula is the Temple of Poseidon at Sounion. This magnificent temple stands on a peninsula overlooking the Aegean Sea and offers jaw-dropping views, especially at sunset.

The Temple of Poseidon at Sounion is one of the major monuments of the Golden Age of Athens. It was constructed in the mid-5th century BC, around the same time as the Parthenon and other significant structures on the Acropolis of Athens.

Dedicated to Poseidon, the God of the sea, earthquakes, and horses, the temple served as both a place of worship and a beacon for ancient sailors, symbolizing their safe return to the land of Attica. The temple is made of marble from the nearby quarries of Agrileza and originally consisted of 34 Doric columns, of which 15 still stand today.

Its idyllic location and the remnants of its grandeur make it a popular destination for anyone who wishes to experience a piece of ancient Greek history and enjoy the stunning natural beauty of the Attica coastline.

3. Temple of Apollo, Corinth

Ancient Greek Cities - Ruins of temple in Corinth, Greece

The Temple of Apollo in Corinth is one of the earliest temples on the mainland. Built in 560 BC, it is Made of limestone. The temple was the mascot for the city of Corinth and was linked to the city’s prosperity.

The temple was renovated during the Roman period so that the Emperor could use it, and these days, it is used as an emblem of the city.

4. Temple of Apollo, Delphi

Greek Temples - Ruins of ancient greek temple of Apollo

Located in Delphi, the Temple of Apollo is one of the most important still standing today. Construction is thought to have been completed around 510 BC. History says that Pythia, a famous oracle, operated her services from the temple.

Much of the temple was destroyed in 373 BC by an earthquake, but the ruins can still be visited today.

5. Temple of Aphaea, Aegina

Temples In Greece - Temple of Aphaea, Aegina

You can find the Temple of Aphaea on the island of Aegina, which was built in 500 BC. The current temple stands on the former remains of an older temple that was destroyed in 510 BC.

This temple was built in the Doric style and originally had 32 columns. Many sculptures, including those depicting the Battle of Troy, were inside the temple. You can see these sculptures in Munich, but some parts can be seen at the original temple.

6. The Parthenon, Athens

Archaeological Sites In Greece - Parthenon on Acropolis, Athens, Greece

Of course, everyone knows about the Parthenon, and it’s undoubtedly a temple you should visit. This is one of the most important buildings in Ancient Greece and was built between 447 and 438 BC. It sits on top of the Acropolis in Athens and was dedicated to Athena, the deity of Athens.

The Parthenon was built when the Athenian Empire was in serious power and was deemed a celebration of strength.

7. Temple of Athena Nike, Athens

On the Acropolis, you will also find the Temple of Athena Nike. This temple dates back to around 420 BC and is dedicated to Nike and Athena. Kallikrates designed the temple, and it is one of the most visited temples in the complex.

You can see the temple on the southwestern corner of the Acropolis.

8. Temple of Hephaistos, Athens

Ancient Sites iIn Greece - Scenic view of temple of Hephaestus in Ancient Agora, Athens

This is undoubtedly the best-preserved Greek temple in Greece. It is dedicated to the God of fire, Hephaistos. The temple, made of marble, has six columns on one side and 13 on the other. It is thought to date back to around 450 BC. You can find it on the Agora in Athens, northwestern.

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9. Temple of Olympian Zeus, Athens

This temple used to be one of the largest, but it’s still one of the most important and beautiful even today. It took 638 years to build this temple, which wasn’t completed until the 2nd century AD. Although you can only see 15 columns from the original number these days, it’s not difficult to imagine its grandeur and scale from its initial days. You can see statues of different Roman emperors and Gods made of marble and limestone.

10. Erechtheion, Athens

Toward the northern side of the Acropolis, you will find this beautiful temple, which was built between 421 and 406 BC. It was initially designed to be a beacon of light in the city, which was at its peak of global influence. The temple is named after the mythical king of the city of Athens, Erechtheion. An interesting detail is seen on the southern side of the temple, which features six female statues rather than regular columns to support construction.

11. Temple of Apollo Epicurius, Bassae

In the Arkadia mountains, you’ll find this stunning temple built in 420 BC. It was dedicated to Apollo Epicurius and built by the Phigaleians. They believed that they were protected from invasion by the God himself. This is a very well preserved Greek temple, probably due to its hidden location. The columns are in excellent condition, and much of it looks as it did back in the day.

12. Temple of Asclepius, Epidaurus

SJ posing Ancient Stadium in Epidaurus Greece

The temple dedicated to the healer god, Asclepius, this temple was one of the largest of its kind. It was also considered the most holy of sites, with many people paying homage at its location. The temple was built in the early 4th century and still has many of its original columns standing; there were originally eleven. The status of Asclepius is no longer visible, yet the rest of the temple, along with the adjoining visitor site, is certainly worth exploring.

13. Temple of Demeter, Naxos

The Temple of Demeter was built in 530 BC from Naxian marble. Located on the beautiful island of Naxos, this is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the area and combines well with a summer break on the island. It is also a very picturesque area to visit; the temple is well-preserved, and the surrounding area is stunning.

14. Temple of Hera, Samos

If you’re on holiday in Samos, this temple is a must-visit. It is a huge construction, built during the Archaic period and located close to the mouth of the Imvrasos River. It is closely linked with the goddess Hera. There were originally 115 columns in an octastyle dipteral style, but you can only see one today, which is locally referred to as Kolona.

15. Temple Of Hephaestus

The Temple of Hephaestus remains one of the best-preserved ancient Greek temples in the world. Located in the Agora of Athens, Greece, this temple was dedicated to Hephaestus, the God of blacksmiths, metalworking, and craftsmen. It is situated on a small hill on the western edge of the Agora.

Constructed in 450 BC, the Temple of Hephaestus is a Doric peripteral temple, which means it is surrounded by a single row of columns. It has retained its structure remarkably well over the centuries, largely because it was converted into a Christian church in the 7th century, which helped preserve its core structure and decorative elements.


FAQs About Greek Temples Still Standing

What are some of the best Greek temples to visit?

The best Greek temples to visit include the Parthenon in Athens, known as one of the most famous examples of ancient Greek architecture, and the Temple of Concordia in Agrigento, Sicily, which is a well-preserved temple built in the 5th century.

What is the importance of Greek mythology in ancient temples?

Greek mythology plays a crucial role in ancient temples, serving as a foundation for much of Greek culture and reflecting the religious beliefs dedicated to the Olympian gods, such as Zeus and Athena. These myths influenced the design and dedications of temples across the ancient Greek world.

Where is the Temple of Olympia Zeus located, and why is it significant?

The Temple of Olympia Zeus is located in Athens, Greece, and is significant because it was one of the largest temples in Greece, dedicated to Zeus, the king of the Olympian gods. Despite its grandeur, the temple was never actually finished, making it a unique site.

What is an example of ancient Greek temple architecture designed by Ictinus?

An example of ancient Greek temple architecture designed by Ictinus is the Parthenon on the Acropolis of Athens. Built in the 5th century, this temple is a pinnacle of Doric design and was dedicated to the Greek goddess Athena. It showcases the height of ancient Greek architectural achievement.

What makes the ancient city of Corinth significant in exploring ancient Greek culture?

The ancient city of Corinth is significant for exploring ancient Greek culture because of its strategic location and the wealth it accumulated through trade. This wealth is evident in the remains of temples and buildings that showcase the advanced state of Greek architecture and urban planning in the ancient world.

Where are Greek temples located outside Greece?

Apart from the Greek mainland and the Greek islands, Greek temples can be found in locations like Sicily, Italy, such as the Valley of Temples in Agrigento, and in Greek colonies spread across the Mediterranean, reflecting the vast influence of Greek culture and architecture in the ancient world.

Now you have just a few Greek temples to visit; you have to decide which one of these temples in Greece you will see first.

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