Temple of Olympian Zeus tour: The great debt

Athens, Greece

Clio Muse










Human Voice


A fascinating self-guided audio walking tour at Olympieion, the Temple of Olympian Zeus in Athens (also known as  Columns of the Olympian Zeus) with credible & original stories written by top local professionals. Take your tour now & enjoy it instantly on your smartphone device.

“The great debt: the Olympieion, Athens” is a tour literally inundated in myth and stories about the great tyrants, kings, emperors, and architects that struggled for six centuries to complete one of the largest temples ever built in ancient Greece. As you first approach the Great Propylon, you will learn all about the Great Flood that Zeus unleashed when a king of the Bronze Race served him a nice pot of his own son. Then, as you stand in the shade of the majestic columns at the SE corner of the temple you can try to understand the sense of awe felt by emperors and common people who witnessed this forest of marble rising from the ground to the heavens above. The nondescript lines of stones on the terrace south of the temple are steeped in mythology. Theseus, the legendary hero of Athens, proved here that he was no innocent marriageable virgin. At the NW corner you can muse on the vanity of all human endeavour. After all there are only 15 columns left standing where once there were 104. Finally, you have a wonderful chance to learn about the passion of ancient Athenians and Romans for baths, whether hot or cold, in the old balaneion. Many philosophers spent time and effort in the bath and when you are in Athens you might as well do as the Athenians did.


  • The Great Flood

    1. The Great Flood

    Spring cleaning is an annual practice that delivers a neat house. Zeus was in this peculiar state of mind when he declared that the earth itself was in urgent need of a thorough cleaning. Man and beast paid the price.
  • Sic transit gloria mundi

    2. Sic transit gloria mundi

    Thus passes the glory of the world. The colossal masterpiece of Hadrian’s time seems to have vanished into thin air, leaving behind only a handful of columns and a wealth of stories. How can it be?
  • From the bath, in form like immortals

    3. From the bath, in form like immortals

    Sylvia Plath could not think of a thing that a hot bath won’t cure. The Roman bathhouse was built during the reign of Hadrian (124-132 CE) and served the Athenians for 500 years.

Featured stories

Clio Muse

Our stories are zany and so is the team of creative writers, thinkers, doers & explorers behind them: a dedicated art conservator, who if left unattended will be found making stuff out of paper and fabric, a caring archaeologist with long Renaissance curls who loves art and baking & a passionate travel writer suffering from incurable wanderlust and a healthy obsession with Thomas Pynchon. To this, add a gifted graphic designer, who playfully experiments with designs, colors, hairstyles, and fashion transformations daily, and a world-class network of travel experts and accredited tour guides who share our crush for ingenuity and create distinctive tours and travel stories that bring the world closer to you!

See all by Clio Muse


Address Leof. Vasilissis Olgas 2, Athina 105 57
Starting point Temple of Olympieion Zeus
Finishing point Leof. Vasilissis Olgas 2, Athina 105 57
Areas Temple of Olympian Zeus, Zappeion
Opening hours Temple of Olympieion Zeus: 8.00-15:00 | Last entrance: 14:30
Additional admission General admission: €6

Why take a self-guided tour?

This is a self-guided tour based on the award-winning storytelling concept developed by Clio Muse and the fascinating narratives prepared by our handpicked destination experts.

You can enjoy each multilingual tour by using your smartphone or tablet at your own pace even if you are offline. The interactive map on your screen will guide you step-by-step as you explore all points of interest along your route. Each stop comes with a selection of our signature stories allowing you to tailor the tour experience to your personal interests and schedule.

After downloading Clio Muse app, you can access this tour and activate it any moment you wish and also repeat it any time. To best enjoy our multimedia self-guided tour (comprising maps, video, audio and text) we recommend the use of headphones.

This tour is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. image/svg+xml

By clicking "Add to cart", you are purchasing this tour in English. This tour is also available in the following languages: Ελληνικά.