Temple of Rhea

P092The goddess Rhea was the wife of Kronos and mother of Zeus, Hera and other gods. For that reason this temple is called "Metroon", "temple of the mother goddess". Built in the fourth century BC, it is the youngest of the three temples at Olympia. In the first century AD, the small Doric temple was reused for the cult of the Roman emperors, as is shown by several statues and by an inscription on the architrave. In late antiquity, it was nearly completely demolished and the stones were reused for a fortification wall.

P091Most Greek temples are built behind the altar of the god, directed eastwards. The temple of Rhea is exceptionally directed westwards, because the place east of the altar was already occupied by the temple of Hera.

© KU Leuven, 2012