Athena Pronaia Temple

Ancient Delphi Attraction

Sanctuary of Goddess Athena which includes the vaulted temple (Tholos), Delphi's modern trademark and the most photographed spot of the site.

Perhaps one of the most characteristic monuments of Delphi is the Dome of Athena Pronea. It is an impressive circular structure dating from 380 BC and is located between the newest temple of Athena and the Treasure of the Massaliotes.

What was the use of the Dome of Athena Pronea in Delphi?

Until our days, archaeologists have not been able to determine the exact use of the building. Many conclude that it must be related to chthonic (underground) worshiping, while the description of the traveler and historian Pausanias, who in no case mentions it as a temple, raises questions.

A series of reports certify that architecturally it follows the basic rhythms of the classical architectural design, while Theodoros from Fokea or Fokida is responsible for its design.

The outer peristyle included 20 columns of Doric style, while the relief metopes of the frieze were decorated with representations of the Battle of Titans and the Battle of the Centaurs. Inside there were 10 half-columns of Corinthian style. The main characteristic of the monument was the polychromy (multicolor) due to the combination of Pentelic and Parian marble as well as the use of the dark blue Eleusinian limestone.

Many parts of the frieze can be admired today at the Archaeological Museum of Delphi, while it is also worth noting that the partial restoration of the monument took place in 1938.

About Athena Pronaia Temple

Last updated: 13 Apr 2021