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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Olympia, sanctuary of sports in Greece

Even though the modern Olympic Games are only about 100 years old, the original Olympic games were first organized about 3000 years ago in Ancient Greece. The games took place every 4 years from 776BC until 393 AD, after which a decree from the Christian emperor, Theodosius I implemented a ban.
Olympia is situated in the Peloponnese peninsula and was in the time of ancient Greece an important sanctuary. This sanctuary consisted of an unordered arrangement of various buildings such as the Temple of Hera and Temple of Zeus, the Pelopion and the area of the altar, where the sacrifices were made.

Olympia, Stadium Entrance

Stadium on the Olympic Site

Olympia is also known for the gigantic ivory and gold statue of Zeus that used to stand there, sculpted by Pheidias, which was named one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World by Antipater of Sidon.

Some interesting sites in the ancient complex are The Leonidaion, the guest house for athletes and other special guests present at the game and The Bouleuterion which hosted the council of the games, here athletes took an oath of allegiance on respecting the rules of the game.

Remains of the Leonidaion

Archaeological Site of Olympia