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.
The ruins of Ancient Greece can be seen all over the country and even in 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. 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.
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1. 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, Sounio
Built between 444 and 440 BC, this vast temple is one of the most important in Ancient Greece. The temple is in a beautiful spot, overlooking the sea, and stands more than 60 meters high. The sunset views from here are stunning.
The temple is made of marble, with six columns on the outer sides and 13 on the longer edge. Around 13 columns are still there, with the rest having fallen due to environmental factors.
3. Temple of Apollo, Corinth
The Temple of Apollo in Corinth is one of the earliest temples on the mainland, and it was built in 560 BC 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
Located in Delphi, the Temple of Apollo is one of the most important still standing today, and it is thought that construction was 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
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 had 32 columns in its original design. Many sculptures were inside the temple, including sculptures depicting the Battle of Troy. You can see these sculptures in Munich, but some parts can be seen at the original temple.
6. The Parthenon, Athens
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
This is undoubtedly the best-preserved temple in the whole of Greece and is dedicated to the God of fire, Hephaistos. The temple has six columns on one side and 13 on the other, and it is thought to date back to around 450 BC, made of marble. You can find it on the Agora in Athens, north-western.
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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 most beautiful even today. It took 638 years to build this temple, which wasn’t completed until the 2nd century AD. You can only see 15 columns from the original number these days, yet 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. The temple is very well preserved, 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
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 is certainly worth exploring, along with the adjoining visitor site.
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.
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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.
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.