Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Olympia, Greece

Olympia, Greece

(Architectural model of the enclosure of the
sanctuary of Olympia, Greece from Wikipedia)

Olympia is located in the south part of Greece, which is called Peloponesse. In Ancient Greece, Olympia was sacred ground to the Greeks.
Olympia, a sanctuary of ancient Greece in Elis, is
known for having been the site of the Olympic Games in classical times. The first Olympic Games were in Olympia in honor of Zeus.

The Games were held every Olympiad (i.e. every four y
ears), dating back possibly further than 776 BC.
In 394 AD, after exactly 1170 years, the Byzantin emperor Theodosius I abolished them as they were then considered reminiscent of paganism.
The ancient ruins sit north of the Alfeios River and Mount Kronos .The Kladeos, a tributary of the Alfeios, flows around the area.
The sanctuary, known as the Altis, consists of an unordered arrangement of various buildings; the Temple of Hera (or Heraion/Heraeum),
the Temple of Zeus, the Pelopion and the area of the altar, where the sacrifices were made.

Very close to the Temple of Zeus, which housed this s

tatue, the studio of Pheidias and his tools were
found at the excavation of 1950s.

To the North of the sanctuary can be found the Prytaneion and the Philippeion.
To the South of the sanctuary is the South Stoa and
the Bouleuterion.
At the West side there are houses, the Palaestra, the workshop of Pheidias, the Gymnasion and the Leonidaion.
The hippodrome and later stadium were also to the East.

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.

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