The Brilliance of Architectural Beauty: 8 Greek Temples Unmatched

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The Hellenic civilization has always been famous for its history, inheritance, and culture that places great significance on the Hellenic deities. The Hellenic sanctuaries date back to as early as the 6th century BC and their design and architecture convey numerous anecdotes from the past. Many of the renowned Hellenic sanctuaries have been acknowledged as world heritage sites today.


The distinctiveness in the architecture of Hellenic sanctuaries lies in their enormous columns of earth, marble, and rock. The design of Hellenic sanctuaries follows 3 major styles – the Dorian, Ionic and Corinthian Order, distinguished according to the size of the columns and the design of their capital.

Top 8 Hellenic Sanctuaries That Are A Must-Visit

Allow us to guide you through some of the ancient Hellenic sanctuary facts that make them irresistible when it comes to touring Europe.

1. The Parthenon

The Valley Of Temples

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A sanctuary dedicated to the city’s patron goddess – Athena Parthenos, the Parthenon grandly stands as evidence to the power and glory of ancient Hellas. Declared as a UNESCO World Heritage site today, the Parthenon is renowned as the largest Dorian Hellenic sanctuary constructed during the age of Pericles ( 447-432 BCE). This Hellenic sanctuary originally housed a magnificent statue of Goddess Athena sculpted out of ivory and gold, which was later stolen by the Persians.

Operating Hours

April – October: 11:00am – 7:30pm (Mondays) and 8:00am – 7:30pm (Tuesday-Sunday)

November – March: 8:30am – 3:00pm

Admission Fee: Adult €20, Child €10

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Erechtheum Temple

2. The Valley Of Sanctuaries

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Located in the beautiful Sicily, the UNESCO World Heritage site of Valley of Sanctuaries is one of the most captivating of all Hellenic sanctuaries in Italy. It holds the remains of 7 ancient Hellenic God sanctuaries showcasing different styles of Hellenic Sanctuary architecture, the grandest of them being the Sanctuary of Concordia. Originally built in the fifth century, the Concordia sanctuary remains one of the finest sanctuaries that portrays the Dorian architecture till date.

Temple of Poseidon, Sounion

Operating Hours: 8:30am – 10:00pmAdmission Fee: €12,000

3. Erechtheum

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Erechtheum is one of the iconic Hellenic sanctuaries in Athens with a distinctive design from Pentelic marble, including the ‘Veranda of the Caryatids’ or the ‘Veranda of Maidens’. It is a large veranda with six exquisitely designed columns in the shape of maidens. This intricate design is believed to have been developed during 421-407 BC, which is known as the Golden age of Athens City.

Operating Hours: 8:30am – 3:00pm (during winter), and 8:00am – 7:30pm (during summers)Admission Fee: €5

Temple of Olympian Zeus

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4. Temple of Poseidon, Sounion

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Artistically constructed on the edge of the Attica peninsula and surrounded by sea, the Hellenic sanctuary of Poseidon is a magnificent tribute to Poseidon, the water Deity. Constructed around 440 BC during the era of Pericles, this Hellenic Sanctuary is of the Doric style that boasted of 34 grand Doric style white marble columns, out of which only 15 still remain. A view of this sanctuary bathed in the splendor of the sunset is worth a one-hour drive if you happen to be in Athens at that time.

Temple of Hephaistos

Operating Hours: 10:00 am to sunsetAdmission Fee: 4€

5. Temple of Olympian Zeus

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At the heart of the Hellenic capital, Athens, stands the remains of the largest sanctuary in Greece, dedicated to the ruler of Olympian gods – Zeus. Partially constructed with plans to incorporate Doric style columns and limestone in the architecture in 6th Century BC, this Hellenic Sanctuary was completed 336 years later by King Antiochus IV Epiphanes following revised plans with Corinthian style of architecture and Pentelic marble. With 104 majestic columns, a magnificent chryselephantine statue of Zeus along with numerous other statues of Hellenic gods and Roman emperors, the sanctuary was completed in the 2nd century AD. Walking past the remaining 15 of the original 104 Corinthian columns standing today, one reminisces its former glory.

Temple of zeus

Operating Hours: 8:30am – 3:00pm (Winter), and 8:00am – 7:30pm (Summer)Admission Fee: 2 €

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6. Temple of Hephaestus

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Dedicated to the God of Artistry, the Temple of Hephaestus is one of the renowned temples in Athens. An embodiment of remarkable architecture, the architect Ictinus has presented splendid work just like he did while designing for Pathenon. Situated 500m north of the famous Acropolis, this temple made of Pentelic and Parian marble is one of the best maintained Greek temples worldwide.

Operating Hours: 8:00am – 8:00pmAdmission Fee: 4 €

7. Temple of Zeus

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Initially constructed in the 6th century, and restored by the Romans in the 2nd century AD, the Temple of Zeus in the city of Cyrene is another captivating Greek temple in the world. Originally built in the Doric architectural style with 2 rows of Doric columns, the temple stonework also displays indications of Egyptian craftsmanship and traditional Roman style as well.

Operating Hours: 8:00am – 8:30pmAdmission Fee: 3€

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8. Temple of Apollo Epicurius

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Constructed between 420-400 BC by Iktinos, the Temple of Apollo Epicurius is situated at a distance of 80 km away from Olympia and 7 km away from Figalia, in the rugged region of Bassai. If you opt to visit the Temple of Apollo, the local tours last for 90 minutes, so make sure you allocate some time and also take a trip to the nearby seaside town of Katakolon.

Operating Hours: 8:00am – 3:30pmAdmission Fee: 12 €

The skilled architecture and designs of the Greek Civilization clearly demonstrate their unwavering commitment to their culture, religion, and deities. While these Greek temples are a necessity for every traveler to visit, be sure not to overlook these iconic temples on your next journey to Greece for an extraordinary experience.


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