Temple of Hephaestus
Dedicated to the god of the forge, the Temple of Hephaestus was once surrounded by foundries and metalwork shops. Built in 450 BC in a Doric style, the temple today is one of the highlights of Athens’ ancient Agora. Join a private or small-group Agora walking tour that includes a stop at the temple; visiting with a guide is vital to appreciate the ruins. Most tours include skip-the-line tickets—a must to avoid a long wait—and a visit to the Agora Museum.
For a deep dive into ancient Greece, visit both the Agora and Acropolis in a single tour by foot, bike, Segway, or scooter. Some itineraries go as far as Cape Sounion and the Temple of Poseidon. If you’re traveling as a family, kid-friendly tours are a great way for everyone to experience the archaeological sites.
Things to know before you go
- The Temple of Hephaestus and other ruins in the Agora of Athens are outdoors, so guard against the unforgiving Mediterranean sun with a hat and sunscreen.
- You’ll be spending a significant amount of time on your feet to explore the ruins, so choose comfortable shoes.
- Make visiting this ancient temple captivating for kids by touring with a family-friendly guide who can make the site and its history engaging for younger travelers.
- Some areas of the Agora, including the Temple of Hephaestus and Agora Museum, are accessible to wheelchairs.
How to get there
The Temple of Hephaestus is part of the ancient Agora perched above the modern city of Athens near the Acropolis. Take the metro (green line) to the Thissio station, and walk about five minutes along Adrianous Street to the Agora entrance.
When to get there
The Agora of Athens is open every day except major holidays. The site has very little shade and temperatures soar during the midday hours in summer. Visit in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid the heat of the day and peak visiting hours.
Honoring the God of the Forge
Hephaestus is the Greek god of volcanoes and metalworking, and he was the only one of the Olympic gods who was not physically perfect and had to perform manual labor. He was the god responsible for crafting the armor with the fatal weakness that was worn by Achilles in the Iliad. Statues of Hephaestus can be found in the temple, as well as statues of Athena and several friezes depicting scenes with other gods.
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