The Statue of Zeus at Olympia, Greece
The massive gold statue of the king of the Greek gods was built in honor of the original Olympic games, which began in the ancient city of Olympia.
The statue, completed by the classical sculptor Phidias around 432 B.C., sat on a jewel-encrusted wooden throne inside a temple overlooking the city. The 40-foot-tall (12-meter-tall) figure held a scepter in one hand and a small statue of the goddess of victory, Nike, in the other—both made from ivory and precious metals.
The temple was closed when the Olympics were banned as a pagan practice in A.D. 391, after Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire.
The statue was eventually destroyed, although historians debate whether it perished with the temple or was moved to Constantinople (now Istanbul) in Turkey and burned in a fire.
More Photos in the News
Today's 15 Most Read Stories
Free Email Newsletter: Focus on Photography
Color engraving by Ferdinand Knab/The Bridgeman Art Library/Getty Images