2. Temple of the Olympian Zeus
The majestic temple to the ruler of the pantheon was the largest on mainland Greece. Inside stood two colossal gold and ivory statues: one of the god, and one of the Roman Emperor Hadrian. Though the temple’s construction began in 515 BC, political turmoil delayed its completion nearly 700 years. To thank Hadrian for finishing it, in AD 131 the Athenians built a two-storey arch next to the temple, whose inscription announces Hadrian’s claim to the city.
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