Photos above from left to right the temple of Athena Alea (3 x). Below from left to right the Byzantine church of Episkopi, the nearby ancient Christian basilica and the source of Auge near the temple of Athena Alea. The map is taken from: M. Voyatzis, The Early Sanctuary or Athena Alea at Tegea, Gothenburg 1990. Under aerial photos of the temple.

Tegea was the largest and most powerful city on the plain of Tegea in ancient times, and has been showing signs of habitation since the Mycenaean period. In the 6th century BC. probably the foundation of a central city center (although Pausanias attributes it to Aleos). In the same 6th century, Tegea waged a long, but ultimately unsuccessful, war against Sparta, in order to preserve independence from around 550 BC. to continue as a vassal state. An attempt to restore independence was crushed by the Spartans at Dipaia (470 BC), but after the Battle of Leuktra (369), Tegea became independent again. In the time of Pausanias, Tegea is still a thriving city, but it is taken and plundered by the Goths under Alarik. Rebuilt by the Byzantines, Tegea is known among the Franks as Nikli, one of the most important centers in central Greece.

The temple for Athena Alea in Tegea by the architect-sculptor Skopas was one of the largest and best-known temples of the Peloponnese, which unfortunately has been preserved in a poor state, as the pictures show. It was a peristyle Doric temple of almost 48 x 20 meters, with two rows of Corinthian half columns inside the cella, comparable to those in Bassai. There is not much left of the metopes, nor of the facade sculptures of the temple. What is there is kept in the small archaeological museum of Tegea (temporarily closed). The eastern facade originally depicted the myth of Atalante and the Kalydonian Wild Boar, while the western facade depicted the myth of Auge, Herakles and Telephos, two myths that proclaim the fame of the city of Tegea. Of the other buildings from Tegea, the theater is built with a Byzantine church, while some remains of an early Christian basilica can still be seen. The city walls are in a fragmentary state