Temple of Hephaestus
Where is the Temple of Hephaestus
The Temple of Hephaestus or Hephaisteion, formerly called in error the Theseion or Theseum, is the best-preserved ancient temple globally.
Situated in the Ancient Agora of Athens, this magnificent Greek temple stands on the top of the low hill of Agoras Kolonos in Athens.
It is particularly special to visit the temple first thing in the morning as it looks stunning and stands as a testament to the sophisticated world of the Ancient Greeks.
Hephaestus was the patron god of metal-working, fire and craftsmanship. During the time there were many potters’ workshops and metal-working shops situated around the temple.
Archaeological evidence suggests that there was no earlier building on the site except for a small sanctuary burned during the Second Persian invasion of Greece in 480 BC.
When Pericles came to power in 461 BC, he came up with a plan to transform Athens into a centre of Greek influence and culture.
In 449 BC, construction began and took around thirty years to complete as funds and workers were directed to building the Parthenon. The western side was completed between 445 BC and 440 BC. During that time, the statue of Athena Hephaistia had been added to the shrine next to the cult statue of Hephaestus.
The temple is built of marble from Mount Penteli, the same marble used to make the Parthenon. The temple dimensions are 13.71 m (45 ft) by 31.78 m, with six columns on the short sides and thirteen columns along the longer north and south sides.
Around 700 AD, the temple was turned into a Christian church dedicated to Saint George.
The Temple of Hephaestus is an excellent place to visit to learn more about ancient Greek architecture. It is also close to many popular attractions, including the Acropolis, the Roman Forum of Athens, and Monastiraki Square.
Look for the many square-carved plaques just below the roof, which go all the way around.
- Then ten on the east side depict the labours of Hercules
- Four show the labours of Theseus
- Some show the battle and fall of troy
As you are walking up the hill towards the temple, there are several opportunities to get some spectacular photos.
From the front steps of the temple, looking up at the columns and pediment.
From the side, looking down the row of columns.
From the back of the temple, framing the building with the Acropolis in the background.
Inside the temple, looking up at the coffered ceiling.
In the surrounding park area, with the Temple of Hephaestus in the distance.
At night, when the temple is illuminated.
In the rain, with the Temple of Hephaestus reflecting in a puddle.
As the Temple of Hephaestus is located in the Ancient Agora of Athens, it has the same opening times.
Winter Season – November 1st to March 31st
Monday to Sunday 08:00 – 17:00
Summer Season – April 1st to October 31st
Monday to Sunday 08:00 – 20:00
January 1st, March 25th, May 1st, Easter Sunday, December 25th and 26th
In the Temple of Hephaestus area, wheelchair access is possible through the entrance at the Thiseion Square (Apostolou Pavlou Street), upon communication (210 3214824, 3210180). You can see the accessible passage in the image at the end.
Popular skip-the-line tickets for the Temple of Hephaestus