Down the hill from the Acropolis, we took a walk through the ancient Agora of Athens. The Agora is a complete ruin, except for one temple – The Héphaïstéion (or formally: The Temple of Hephaestus). Looking up at this majestic structure, it’s possible to imagine how amazing the Parthenon must have been once. The Héphaïstéion sits above the Agora in a grove of trees. You can see the Acropolis from here, too.
It’s hotter than hot today, but I can’t stop myself from walking around and around this temple. Classical Greek architecture is just so pleasing to the eye. The lines are perfect. The perspective makes me grin in spite of myself. Construction of the Héphaïstéion was completed around 445BCE. It’s not a ruin like most other classical Greek structures because it was put to use by subsequent cultures. It served as a Greek Orthodox church from the 700s to 1834. Then it was a burial ground and then a museum, before it was finally given monument status in the 1930s. I’m so happy the residents of the area found a use for this building for 2500 years so it’s still here for us to appreciate.
No famous people are immortalized in this shot. They must be hiding in the shade.
Warning/Guarantee/Disclaimer: This is a big, multi-resolution panorama. It may take a while to load. For amazing detail, try viewing it full-screen.