Ancient Olympia, a sacred place with glorious history!
Ancient Olympia belongs to the prefecture of Ileia and is situated about 19km away from the city of Pyrgos
in the west Peloponnese. It is characterized as one of the most essential Greek historic sightseeing, with its roots going dozens of centuries back in time. Ancient Olympia
is the cradle of the ancient and modern Olympic Games and every four years, the ‘holy flame’ is being born according to the traditional ancient way; the symbol of the spirit of the Olympic Games.It is really exciting to be able to see the whole ritual exactly the way it used to be organized thousands of years ago! From there, the olympic flame
travels all over the world, passing by all the countries, until it reaches the city that will hold the Olympic Games
! Wow...only the thought of it can easily give you shivers of excitement!
Between the confluence of the rivers Alfeios and Kladeos, under the all-mighty shade of the Saturn hill, lies the sacred land of ancient Olympia. There you will see up close a complex archaeological area and monuments where the ancient Olympic Games took place. Try to close your eyes, touch the proud marbles, breath slowly and try to 'embrace' the positive energy of the place. The glory and respect for the ancient Olympic Games were so great that wars did stop almost through all the known ancient world for the whole period until the end of the Games. It was considered a serious blasphemy towards the Gods if an ancient city-state was going to war then.
Nowadays, the Olympic Games are considered to be one of the wealthiest brands in the world, and it is the top modern athletic event with over 2 billion people watching it. Therefore, it also works like a great tourist attraction magnet, with thousands of tourists daily visiting this sacred land during the peak summer season.
The entrance to the archaeological site feels like a passage in spacetime. There is a cobble-stoned path that starts from the parking area and unfolds downhill, passing the bridge over the river Kladeos and ending up at the main entrance. You can actually walk through the impressive ancient remains that were used by the ancient Greeks and guest-athletes as places of worship, sports, conferences, etc.
While in ancient Olympia, you must definitely visit the museum to see some really fascinating and absolutely beautiful ancient artifacts. Some of the most significant ones are: the Hermes of Praxiteles (one of the most famous ancient statues in the world), the Victory of Paionios (one of the finest Greek sculpture masterpieces), the sculptural decoration of the Zeus temple Zeus, etc
Furthermore, you will enjoy the scenic beauty that surrounds modern Olympia; a great combination of mountain and sea landscapes!
Article by CarGreece.gr