The temple of Zeus at Nemea, Greece

The temple of Zeus at Nemea Greece

The temple of Zeus at Nemea was constructed in c. 330 BC and replaced an earlier temple that had stood from the 6th to 5th century BC. Inside was a cult statue of the god. It is regarded as the last of the great Doric temples of the Classical tradition.

At this sanctuary, the god that was worshipped was Nemean Zeus (entirely different from the Olympian Zeus), who is the god of shepherds and shepherding.

The town of Nemea was known in Greek myth as the home of the Nemean Lion, which was killed by the hero Heracles. It was only known as the area where the son of the Nemean king Lycurgus, the baby Opheltes, was killed by a serpent.

The Nemean Games were held in the town of Nemea from 573 BC until 271 BC, after which, the Games were definitively moved to Argos. The Sanctuary of Zeus at Nemea was the centre of the Games. The events of the Nemean Games were held over several days and were usually shortly after the summer solstice.


3,500 year old early Mycenean tomb discovered in Nemea