Sunday, January 23, 2011

Athens, Day 1: Temple of Zeus

Once our organized tour was over, Ramon and I walked into Plaka, a place full of shopping and restaurants. This was the first day of sales so every place was incredibly busy.
We ate and walked on to visit a Roman bath house discovered when the site was being dug to put a metro station there.

Down from that is the Temple of Zeus, marked by its entrance with Hadrian's Arch, built in 131 AD to separate old and new Athens. Hadrian was a Roman emporer known for being an extensive builder.The Temple of Zeus built at Olympia was constructed between 472 and 456 AD. It housed a colossal statue of the god, which was one of the Seven Wonders of the World..In 426 CE, Theodosius II ordered the destruction of the sanctuary, and earthquakes in 522 and 551 devastated the ruins and left the Temple of Zeus partially buried. I don't recall if the statue was ever recovered. If so, it's probably at the British Museum. (See earlier Athens, Day 1 post.)
You get a view of the Acropolis from here.. I wanted to see a bath house (yes, another one) and the Tower of the Winds. Trying to negotiate the area using our guidebook map, we walked past the Tower of the Winds and didn’t know it. I think this was my fault but not really owning up to it just yet.

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