336 Route 39. ATHENS. Olympieum.
excursions, the first of which may conveniently be accomplished
by carriage. The palace square, situated at the E. end of the
Hermes Street, with an octagonal pavilion in the centre, and a
quadrangular garden on the E. side, is bounded by the Palace
(rd icvuxtoqk) , erected in 1834—38 from designs by Gaertner,
and the private property of the ex-king Otho (d. 1867); the
stipulated purchase-money has not yet been paid (garden, see
p. 355). Turning to the r., the traveller passes the Church of
St. Nicomedes, founded in the 8th cent, by Irene, Empress of
Byzantium, now employed as a Russian church (beneath it an in¬
teresting crypt, once a Roman bath). Farther on, to the r., is
the English Church, beyond which the great square of the
*01ympieum (OXv/uTjitiov), or Temple of Zeus Olympius, is
reached. At the extremity of the square, on an artificially re¬
stored plain, rise 16 columns of the imposing structure.
About the year B. C. 530 Pisistratus began to erect a sumptuous temple
on a spot dedicated to religious rites from the earliest ages. The plan was
entirely abandoned - till the year B. C. 174, when it was revived by King
Antiochus III. of Syria, and the grand designs of his architect Cossutius
were the marvel of the age. 'Templum unum in terris inchoatum pro
magnitudine dei', says Livy of this structure. Antiochus died without com¬
pleting it, and in 68 Sulla caused some of its columns to be conveyed to
Home. Augustus caused the work to be again resumed, and it was at length
completed by Hadrian (A. D. 135). The statue of the emperor stood beside
that of Zeus, a figure elaborately wrought in gold and ivory, and the pre¬
cincts of the temple are said to have been surrounded by a forest of statues
of the vain-glorious monarch. On the W. and E. side of the temple respec¬
tively there were 10 columns, on the N. and S. sides 21, the colonnades at
the ends being triple, those at the sides double. When in a perfect state,
therefore, the temple was enclosed by 120 Corinthian columns in all, each
06' in height and 7' in diameter, exclusive of the 6 columns between the
'antae' and the 'cella'. The entire structure was 375' long and 185' wide,
and next to that of Ephesus is the largest Greek temple extant.
Of the 16 columns still extant, most of them with the archi¬
trave, 13 belong to the S.E. angle, and 3 to the inner row of
the S. side. The central column of the latter was overthrown
by a gale in Oct. 1852. The capitals, of the already degenerating
Corinthian order, consist of two pieces, and are 10' in breadth at
the top. On the architrave of two of the columns a arvXirng,
or 'hermit of the columns', constructed his aerial cell in the middle
ages. The visitor may indulge in a cup of coffee beneath the co¬
lumns, and enjoy a superb view of the Sinus Saronicus, ^Egina and
the coast of Argolis.
The *Gate of Hadrian, still well preserved, forms the entrance
from the W. to the precincts of the temple and the Hadrianopolis,
or quarter of the city founded by Hadrian. The gateway is 22'
in width; on each side two Corinthian columns project; on the W.
side their bases, and on the E. their architrave is still visible.
Above the gateway rises a second storey. In the centre there
was originally a double niche, with half-columns, surmounted by a