Sanctuary of Zeus Olympios

A place of worship from the Bronze Age up to the late Roman eras. The sanctuary is made up of two main parts, a lower and an upper terrace. The lower terrace (100 x 50 m) was built first in 27/28 AD by "Diodoros, son of Zebedas, architect from Gerasa". A unique feature is a vaulted corridor that ran around the periphery, and which was embellished with facades of Ionic half-columns supporting a Doric frieze. In 162/163 AD, a large temple was built on the higher ground above the sanctuary and a grand staircase was added into the west facade of the lower terrace to access it.

After mid 5th century the sanctuary was re-used by subsequent settlers as a monastery during Byzantine times and later by farmers and craftsmen. Abandoned after the earthquake of 749 AD, it was briefly reoccupied around the 12th century by a small group of Crusaders.
(From information on site)

In the background on the right, the South Theatre

© Photo: Haupt & Binder

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