Temple of Athena Alea

The Temple of Athena Alea is an ancient Greek temple located in the town of Tegea.

Temple of Athena Alea

The Temple of Athena Alea, also known as the Temple of Alea Athena, is an ancient Greek temple located in the town of Tegea in the northeastern part of the Peloponnese. The temple is dedicated to Athena Alea, the patron goddess of Tegea, and is one of the most well-preserved examples of a Doric temple in Greece.

The temple was constructed in the 6th century BC, although it was destroyed by fire in the early 5th century BC and rebuilt shortly thereafter. The temple’s design is attributed to the architect Scopas, who is also credited with the design of the Temple of Athena Nike on the Athenian Acropolis.

The temple is built entirely of local limestone and is surrounded by a peristyle of 6 by 15 columns. The columns are Doric in style, with 14 flutes and no bases. The temple measures 32.73 meters by 14.55 meters and features a pronaos (porch) and opisthodomos (rear chamber) at either end.

The temple’s interior was divided into two main areas: the pronaos and the cella. The pronaos served as an entrance to the temple and was accessed by a flight of steps. The cella was the main chamber of the temple and housed the cult statue of Athena Alea. The cult statue was made of wood and was covered in gold and ivory.

The temple also featured a number of notable architectural and decorative elements. The frieze above the pronaos and opisthodomos depicted scenes from the labors of Heracles, while the metopes depicted scenes from the Trojan War. The temple also featured a number of statues, including a group of sphinxes that flanked the entrance to the temple.

Today, the Temple of Athena Alea is a popular tourist attraction in Tegea and is open to the public for viewing. While the temple is largely in ruins, many of its architectural features and decorative elements are still intact, providing valuable insights into ancient Greek temple design and decoration. The temple is also a significant site for scholars of ancient Greek religion and art history, as it represents one of the best-preserved examples of an ancient Greek temple.

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    Image via https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Archaeological_site_of_the_Temple_of_Athena_Alea_at_Tegea_(2017,_image_3).jpg

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