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If Athens hadn't so many famous ancient monuments, these ruins would be a landmark of the city. Despite only a small part of the temple is left - not much more than 15 of the original 104 columns, - the monument is still imposing and although it appears quite big seen from the top of the Acropolis, it is still a surprise when seen closely.

An earlier temple also dedicated to Zeus, the king of the Greek gods, who resided in the Olympus, built here around 550 AC, but it was demolished in 520 BC to give place to this colossal temple that aimed to be the greatest temple of the Greek world, surpassing its contemporaries of Hera in Samos and of Artemis in Ephesus, the latter being one of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World. However, the works stopped 10 years later, when the dictator that ordered the construction was overthrown. The Seleucid emperor Antiochus IV, retook the works with changes in design in 174 BC, but they stopped again 10 years later, when Antiochus died. The partly built temple suffer much damage when the Roman general Sulla sacked Athens in 86 BC. A lukewarm attempt to finish the temple happened some decades later, during the time of the first Roman emperor, Augustus, but the temple was only finished by another famous and great builder Roman emperor, Hadrian in the early 2nd century AC, more than 6 centuries after the first construction works. However, the temple's glory was short-lived, as it was badly damaged in the same barbarian raid of 267 AC that destroyed the Stoa of Attalos.

About the photo:

The image is a stitch of 3 vertical shots. I don't remember why I wanted shots suitable to stitch, as there is plenty of space to get all the temple in just one shot without even using a very short focal length or a slanted POV, but I am glad I did it because this way I got a higher definition image (not needed to TE, of course), with an aspect ratio suitable for posting as panorama here.

I would like to have been able to use another POV that included the Acropolis and perhaps the Arch of Hadrian, another monument contemporary of the finishing of the temple that is now in one of the corners of the park that surrounds the temple, but I would be shooting against a low sun, so I didn't even tried. You may see how that POV is great by looking at these posts of Danos and Cretense.

I posting two complementary views as WS: #1, #2. I'll try to remember to post another two WS's with a view of the temple from the Acropolis. I have also a post with a view of the temple from the Acropolis.

Location of the POV (latitude, longitude): 37.9697,23.7335

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Additional Photos by Jose Pires (stego) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4422 W: 612 N: 7301] (24132)
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