Let’s start your tour of ancient Athens in a large open field measuring 820 by 426 feet. In the center is another rectangular space defined by a low marble wall. This is the footprint of the former Temple of Olympian Zeus. The colossal Greek temple was 362 by 143 feet, qualifying as one of the largest ever built during antiquity. The first Zeus sanctuary dates from 550 BC. The second was started in 515 BC but ended five years later. In 174 BC, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, the king of the Seleucid Empire, resumed the project. A decade later, work on the half-finished temple ended again. Finally, the Olympieion was completed nearly 650 years later in 132 AD and dedicated by Roman emperor Hadrian (reign 117 – 138). The glorious temple was destroyed during the Sack of Athens in 267 AD. Most of the materials were carried off for other construction. Today, all that remains of the Temple of Olympian Zeus is a cluster of Corinthian columns.