Hera Olympia

ouzo on the rocks

apartment, excursions and art historical guide

Peloponnese, Greece

The temple of Hera in Olympia


The temple of Hera in Olympia (built circa 600-590 BC) shows the transition seeing the old materials such as wood and tiles to stone. On the map you can see that the temple has six columns at the front and sixteen on the sides. Moreover, we see both a pronaos as a opisthodomos, each with two columns in antis. Anta (plural antae) is the side wall of the front or back porch. In antis also means interposed between the side walls of the portals.

The columns of the front and back porch are aligned with the columns of the facades (short sides), so the peristyle and the central block form one unit. In the middle of the naos are no columns, so immediately upon entering one had a view of the in the rear mounted cult image. The original wooden columns were replaced by stone ones. Pausanias, in his time saw in the opisthodomos of this temple even an oak pillar. This confirms that this temple is especially a transition work from the old style to a newer one.

The top of the temple was (presumably) from tiles and wood, but the stylobate, the platform and the lower parts of the walls were built of stone blocks.


Some archaeologists assume that this temple is built in phases. Around 650 BC there must have been a central room (the naos) and a vestibule (pronaos) and some fifty years later a colonnade and a rear porch were added.

plan of the temple of Hera in Olympia, 590 BC

temple of Hera in Olympia

photo from the book 'Olympia the archaeological site and the museums'

Olympia Vikatou, Ekdotike Athenon S.A.

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