The Temple of Hephaestus is located in the Ancient Agora which was a site that was once a gathering place and marketplace for the people in ancient times. The many layers of civilization built upon the Agora are still under excavation. The Agora is located southeast of the Acropolis on Adrianou Street. There is a nominal entrance fee.
The Temple of Hephaestus
The Temple of Hephaestus is very unique in that it has upheld through time. Furthermore, this temple is still completely standing. Originally built in 450 BC and dedicated to Hephaestus, God of many craftsmen, including blacksmiths, carpenters, and sculptors. In addition, Hephaestus is also the God of fire and volcanoes.
Used as a temple until 7 AD when it became the Church of St George Akamas until 1834. From 1834 to 1930’s Temple of Hephaestus was used as a museum. After that, it was restored to it’s original form as we see it today. The temple is reminiscent of the Parthenon and Temple of Zeus with the large Doric Style Columns.
Around the Temple of Hephaestus
The area around the Temple of Hephaestus is lush and green, like walking through a garden. Nice and shady on such a hot day. You will also enjoy nice views of the Acropolis.
The Stoa of Attalos
The Strata of Attalos was located in the Agora area and was a covered patio type building. It was a marketplace with many shops in it, Built between 159 to 138 BC as a thank you to Athens from King Attalos of Permagon (an ancient city in Greece). However, the Stoa fell to ruin after being destroyed in 257 AD and after that was used as a defensive wall. Restoration and rebuilding occurred in the mid 1950’s and houses the Ancient Agora Museum.
Statues in the Ancient Agora Museum
You can see various statues throughout the Temple. Unfortunately, some are missing heads, and in contrast, there are also heads missing bodies.
Church of the Holy Apostles
Near the Temple is The Church of the Holy Apostles which is an Orthodox Church that dates back to the 10th century.
Time to Relax
Overall, exploring the Temple of Hephaestus was fun. We would have liked to explore the Agora more, but it was getting late in the afternoon. Regardless, we were ready to take time and relax and enjoy the rooftop pool at our hotel where we watched the sunset.
Where We Stayed in Athens
In Athens we stayed at the Electra Palace Hotel which is in the Plaka area of Athens and within walking distance of everywhere we went. The hotel has beautiful views of the Acropolis. The breakfast buffet was delicious with lots of variety. I do believe what I enjoyed most was the location and how easy it was to get around the area just by walking. You can book here through Booking.com if you would like to stay here while in Athens.
Last year when we were in Athens we used the Rick Steves Pocket Athens guidebook and found a lot of useful information in it. There is also a pocket map.
This year we added Top 10 Athens (DK Eyewitness Travel Guide) to help us plan and found it extremely helpful and organized. It includes top 10 places for restaurants, things to see, shopping, etc. It also divides into top 10 of each area. This is my favorite guide book. It does come with a pocket map.
We also bought an Athens Street Map which was more in-depth and very useful as we explored more areas on this trip.
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