The Temple of Olympian Zeus. The Arch of Hadrian is located northwest of the Acropolis, near Plaka on Amalias Road. The Arch of Hadrian stands on the same site as the temple of Olympian Zeus. The Olympian Zeus temple was the largest temple of ancient Greece during the Hellenistic and Roman period. The Greek writier Pafsanias wrote that the temple of Olympian Zeus was built by Deucalion (one of the mythical ancestors of the Greeks). Then around 550 BC. Peisistratus came to power through a coup and became a tyrant. He wanted to completely destroy this temple to make it bigger and more impressive. After his death (527 BC.) his sons Hippias and Hipparchus came to power, but the first was exiled and the second was killed in 514 BC. Therefore, the work at the temple was halted for a very long time, probably because the Greeks thought it was a shame at this time to build such large temples.
In the second century BC, during the Macedonian rule, work resumed by the Roman architect Decimus Cossutius, commissioned by the Hellenistic king Antiochus the 4th. When Antiochus died in 163 BC. the work was stopped again and until the year 131 AD, when the Roman Emperor Hadrian came to power, the work on this temple was completely finished.
Text: Jorgos and Wendy Nikolidakis - Text edited by Katrina Butzer