Temple of Ismenius Apollo

The temple of Ismenius Apollo was one of the most important temples in ancient Thebes, and was on the hill of the same name, southeast of the ancient city. The hill have already been in use in the 15th century BC, as one of the three largest cemeteries of carved-out chamber tombs in Mycenaean Thebes was found there.

Later the famous sanctuary was built there, the history of which shows three successive temples constructed on this site during Antiquity. The first was constructed at around the end of the 8th century BC and, after it was destroyed, was replaced by another temple in the Doric style during the Archaic period, which survived until the beginning of the 4th century BC.  Then the third temple was built, a Doric kiosk, which was, mostly likely, never completed. It is to this that the remains of foundations visible today on the top of the hill belong. According to Pausanias, at the entrance to the temple there were statues of Hermes and Athena, which it is traditionally believed were the work of Pheidias and Skopas. There were many votive items in the temples, mostly statues and tripods with dedication inscriptions. Later, the hill was used as a palaeo-Christian and Byzantine cemetery, with constructed tombs, which was in use until the 12th century AD.