Olympia is an outstanding testimony of the Ancient civilization of Peloponnesos. Human settlement in Olympia dates back to Middle Helladic and Mycenaean periods. The city was consecrated to Zeus and was a major sanctuary from 10th century BC to 4th century AD, a period that corresponds to the heydays of Olympia.

Archaeological Site of Olympia you gotta go here
Archaeological Site of Olympia you gotta go here

Olympia is an outstanding testimony of the Ancient civilization of Peloponnesos. Human settlement in Olympia dates back to Middle Helladic and Mycenaean periods. The city was consecrated to Zeus and was a major sanctuary from 10th century BC to 4th century AD, a period that corresponds to the heydays of Olympia.

The archaeological site of Olympia is located at the foothills of Kronion Hill and stretches over the triangular alluvial terrace that is found at the confluence of Kaldeo and Alpheios. This area comprises of ancient settlements and religious centers of worship. From the Hellenic Period you will find religious sites such as:

  • Those to Kronos, Gala, and other Chtonian divinities
  • Those to Pelops, the hero who gave his name to Peloponnesus
  • Those to Hippodamia, whose hand Pelops won in a chariot race against Oenomaos, her father.

The name ‘Olympia’ is derived from the sacred mountain of Olympus which is the habitual residence of the ancient Greek God Zeus. It was used in reference to the valley where the Sanctuary of Olympia was constructed. The sanctuary was placed under the protection of cities such as Pisa and Elis. It had a large following in the 8th century BC, mostly drawn by the Pan-Hellenic games that were held every 5th year. From 776 BC, athletes were also brought here. Much later, it would become a city where poets, orators, and musicians came to celebrate Zeus.

Attractions

  • The Altis, also called the Sanctuary of Gods – Here you will find the Temple of Hera (6th century BC) and the Temple of Zeus (5th century BC)
  • Large votive archaic bronzes
  • Sculptures of tympanums
  • Metopes from the Temple of Zeus
  • The Hermes by Praxiteles
  • Temple of Hera.
  • Archaic Treasuries (6thand 5th centuries BC)
  • The Metroon and the Echo Colonnade (4th century BC)
  • The Philippeion in honor of the victory at Chaeronea in 338 BC
  • The Exedra of Herodes Atticus (157-60 AD)
  • Palaestra and the Gymnasium (3rd century BC)
  • The old Stadium, rebuilt during the 1st century AD and remodeled in 1961-62
  • The Temple of Zeus, built in 470-457 BC

Surprisingly, you will find a lot of things to explore in this destination. Trust me; the history you will find here is unrivalled anywhere.


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