The Seven Wonders
The Statue of Zeus
The seven wonders of the world were chosen by a Greek historian named Herodotus. One of these was the Statue of Zeus at Olympia. This particular wonder was chosen because of the wonderful sculpting of the statue.
It is said that Libon designed the temple and Phedias built it with a team. And it is also said that Phedias designed and made the statue. But how did they build it? It was built by men using tools that existed at that time.
You may be wondering, "Why was it built?". This was built as a shrine to honor the god Zeus.
This was a statue inside a temple in Olympia. The whole thing was built in 432 BC. The temple was made of limestone, ut this wasn't very nice looking, and so they covered the limestone with stucco. This gave the limestone the marble look. The temple had 13 columns that would hold the roof. There were six columns on each end of the temple. The columns were Doric style. Actually the ones here were one of the best samples. The roof was gently peaked. Each end of the roof had sculptures called friezes. Under the pediments (the block above the columns) there were more sculptures. These were of Hercules doing 12 different labors and there were six of them on each end of the temple.
The Statue of Zeus was much like the Lincoln Statue in Washington DC, but it was more than double the Lincoln Statue. The Zeus's statue had a 20 ft wide by 3 ft tall base. The base was made out of wood. The statue it's self is 40 ft tall. The statue was at the west end of the temple. The statue it's self was made of ivory and gold like many other statues of gods in Greece. (Example: The Statue of Athena at the Parthenon in Athens) The head of the statue of Zeus was decorated with a wreath of olive sprays. In the right hand of the statue, a small gold statue of the goddess Nike goddess of Victory. In the left hand, a scepter inlaid with every metal and an eagle perched on the scepter. The statue wore a gold rode and gold sandals. His garments were decorated with carved animals and lilies. The throne that the statue sat on was said to have been more elaborate then the statue it's self. The Throne was made of ebony, ivory, precious stones and gold. It was decorated with ebony, ivory, precious stones and gold. It was also decorated with mythical creatures like the sphinxes on it, and winged figures of victory like the goddess of victory Nike.
Statue of Nike. Athena statue holds it.
Last, "How was it destroyed?". This wonder had been destroyed during the fire of the 5th Century AD.
The traces of the statue is lost forever, but the remains of the temple where it once stood, now stands again. Not for honoring Zeus, but honoring the where it stood, who made it, and most of all how amazing the Greeks were, and how they could build something that would stand until it fell under bad circumstances. But it still stands in our memories as well. As we go along, we will always know how amazing they actually were.
Play the video below to see a 3D replica of the temple/statue. This may or may not be what it looked like.