In ancient times, the Greeks held one of their most important festivals, the Olympic Games, in honour of the King of their gods, Zeus. They were held in the shrine of Zeus located near the west edge of Greece in a city called Peloponnesus. As the games became more popular everyone felt that they needed a new, larger temple that was worthy to the king of Gods. So between 470 and 460BC, Libon of Elis began constructing his masterpiece, The Temple of Zeus. The temple was considered one of the best examples of the Doric design because of its style and the quality of the workmanship, however it was felt that the temple alone was too simple to be worthy of the King of gods. So a famous sculptor named Phidias was commissioned for making a magnificent statue of Zeus. The statue of Zeus was made of ivory and gold over a wooden frame. It was 22 feet by 40 feet tall. The temple attracted visitors and worshippers from all over the world. However, after the Olympic Games were banned in 391AD, the temple of Zeus was closed. Earthquakes, landslides and floods damaged the temple in the fifth century AD. The statue had been earlier transported by wealthy Greeks to a palace in Constantinople (now Istanbul). Unfortunately a fire of 462AD destroyed it. Today nothing remains at theist of the old temple except rocks and debris, the foundation of the buildings, and fallen columns.
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