The Temple of Hephaistos is one of two original buildings in the Ancient Agora in Athens. The other is the Church of the Holy Apostles. Hephaestus was the god of metal working, craftsmanship, and fire; essentially the god of engineers, and I find it somewhat amusing that the building dedicating the engineer is the one that survived!
Actually the building was used far beyond its original purpose, including as a Greek Orthodox Church, which partly explains its well-preserved state.
This temple is the first of the many ancient Greek ruins I have visited. It is one of the many temples dedicated to Apollo in Greece. There is not much left of the temple; only a single standing column is remaining. The temple is a short walk from Aegina Town, and it has a lovely little museum attached to the site. It was a peaceful temple to visit; there were only 2 other people visiting it; so you have plenty of time to wonder around the site in piece, and chat to the friendly staff working in the museum.
A very different experience from the noisy and crowed (yet magnificent) Acropolis.
The Temple of Aphaia is in the mountains of Aegina, a small island close to Athens. When we were staying in Vagia, a small village in Aegina I decided to go for a run, and the temple is a perfect turning point for a nice loop. But its a brutal climb up the mountain. When I got to the top I was hot and thirsty, so I went straight to the kiosk to buy a bottle of water. The lady helping me thought I was having a heart attack and wanted to call an ambulance. She just couldn’t understand that I had just ran to the temple.
When I went back the next day with Lois (this time we drove), they gave us a braille guide book, and that is something we found a lot in Greece – the awareness of blindness and disability. In many countries the tourist spots have braille guide books but you normally need to return them. In Greece they are to take home. The only problem is that we found out after we got back to the hotel is that while it was in braille, it was not in English! We still don’t know what language that guide book is in.
At the temple in a Two Oceans Marathon race shirt. The person who took the pic for me thought that I was a professional adventure runner – not quite!
In my previous post, I posted a picture of Temple of Olympian Zeus with the Acropolis in the background.
This is the same picture, but taken from the top of the Acropolis. It gives you a much better idea of the scale of the temple.
Lois and I (quite literally) stumbled upon this temple while walking from the Olympic Stadium to the Acropolis. The Temple of Olympian Zeus in Athens was build around 6 century BC.
If you look in the far distance, you can just make out the Acropolis on the left of the main columns.