The Temple of Asclepius

This is all that remins of the old Temple of Asclepius in the Acropolis of Athens, at the foot of the Parthenon.

The Asclepieion, the sanctuary of the god Asclepius and his daughter Hygieia, the personification of "Health", is located to the west of the Theatre of Dionysos, between the Peripatos, the ancient road which surrounded the Acropolis, and the Acropolis rock itself. The sanctuary was founded in the year 420/19 BC by an Athenian citizen from the deme of Acharnai, named Telemachos.

The Asclepieion consists of a small temple, an altar and two halls: the Doric Stoa (abaton), which served as an incubation hall for the visitors to the Asclepieion, who stayed there overnight and were miraculously cured by the god who appeared in their dreams, and the Ionic Stoa, which served as a katagogion, a guest-house used by the visitors to the shrine and the priests.

The remains of the temple of Asclepios at the time of the first excavation on the site by the Archaeological Society in 1876, were preserved only to the level of the foundation. Pausanias, who visited the temple in the 2nd century AD, noted the statues of the god and his children, which were kept inside the temple.

The architectural remains of the monument, which were lying in the area of the sanctuary since the time of the first excavation of the Asclepieion, were collected, thoroughly studied, and ascribed to the temple, providing us, on one hand with important information about the initial form and the construction phases of the monument, and on the other hand with options for its reconstruction. According to the restoration project of the temple, 30 architectural members of the lower part of its walls are to return to their original position.

A very important element of the architectural composition of the temple is the marble doorframe, of Ionic order, with rich relief decoration referring to the ionic door frame of the Erechtheion. The doorframe of the temple of Asclepios was reconstructed from numerous fragments found in the area of the sanctuary.

The search for the rest of the architectural members of the monument will continue, in order to reconstruct parts of the walls, the doorframe and the columns of the east facade.


In order to easily find the monument, look at the following picture (element 17). This picture comes from Wikipedia: Acropolis of Athens

  • Photos and main text by Andrea Valentino Custurone ti.liamtoh|evil.diuqil#| and Riccardo Calsolaro moc.liamg|oraloslac.odraccir#| (October 2014)



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