Hadrian Temple, also known as the Temple of Hadrian, is a well-preserved ancient Roman temple located in the heart of Athens, Greece. It was built in the 2nd century AD by the Roman Emperor Hadrian, who was known for his love of Greek culture and architecture. The temple is dedicated to both Hadrian and his wife, Sabina, and was originally part of a larger complex of buildings that included a library and a gymnasium.
The temple is located in the historic district of Athens, known as the Plaka, and is situated on the eastern side of the ancient Roman agora. It is a popular tourist attraction and is visited by thousands of people each year. The temple is a testament to the architectural and engineering skills of the ancient Romans and is a reminder of the rich cultural heritage of Greece.
The temple is built in the Corinthian style and is made of Pentelic marble. It is rectangular in shape and measures approximately 12 meters by 8 meters. The temple has a front portico with six columns and a back portico with four columns. The columns are made of marble and are decorated with intricate carvings and designs. The temple is also adorned with friezes and sculptures that depict scenes from Greek mythology and history.
One of the most striking features of the temple is the intricate relief sculpture that adorns the architrave above the columns. The relief depicts scenes from the life of the goddess Athena, who was the patron goddess of Athens. The sculpture is incredibly detailed and is a testament to the skill of the ancient Greek sculptors.
The temple was originally built as a dedication to the Roman Emperor Hadrian, who was a great admirer of Greek culture and architecture. Hadrian was known for his love of travel and spent a great deal of time in Greece during his reign. He was particularly fond of Athens and is credited with the restoration of many of the city’s ancient buildings and monuments.
The temple was also dedicated to Hadrian’s wife, Sabina, who was known for her beauty and intelligence. Sabina was a patron of the arts and was a great supporter of Greek culture. The dedication of the temple to both Hadrian and Sabina is a testament to their love of Greece and their commitment to preserving its cultural heritage.
The temple was part of a larger complex of buildings that included a library and a gymnasium. The library was one of the largest in the ancient world and housed thousands of books and manuscripts. The gymnasium was a place where young men could train in athletics and other physical activities.
The temple and the surrounding complex were destroyed during the invasion of the Heruli in the 3rd century AD. The temple was later restored by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian in the 6th century AD. The temple was used as a church during the Byzantine period and was later converted into a mosque during the Ottoman period.
Today, the temple is a popular tourist attraction and is visited by thousands of people each year. It is a testament to the rich cultural heritage of Greece and is a reminder of the skill and ingenuity of the ancient Romans. The temple is a must-see for anyone visiting Athens and is a testament to the enduring legacy of the ancient world.