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Arty Grand Hotel

Ancient Olympia: homeland of the Olympic Games

A travel in the holy area of Olympia, the place that gave birth at the Olympic Games and were they took place during the ancient years, is some of the best things you can do. This place managed to become the most important intellectual, religious and athletic centre at the antiquity and was selected for a holy aim: the performance of Olympic Games.
Ancient Olympia is one of the most important archaeological areas of world. Her magic is unfolded between Alpheus and Kladeo River, under mountain Kronio.
From Pirgos, the capital of the prefecture of Ilia, is only some kilometers away. The feelings that this space inspires are always the same: awe and respect in a place so special.


Holy Olympia he was dedicated in the Olympio Jupiter. A valley flooded from wild olive trees, oaks, sycamores and pines unfolds here, and for this reason the Holy temple was named Altis (= "grove"). A protective ground exists around her, in which inside they can be found the most important religious buildings and offerings of holy temple. In the exterior space they were the residences of priests, the baths, the hosts, the spaces of preparation of athletes etc.
The Olympic Games began 776 B.B. to honor Jupiter. Then they had clearly religious and ritual character. As the number of athletes but also spectators increased, it became more and more essential the need for organized installations for a better operation. The care for the organization and the performance of the Games was in the responsibility of the city of ancient Ilidas.
Entering in the Holy area of Ancient Olympia you do not know what to admire first: the High school, the Ring, the Temple of Iras (Hera), the Laboratory of Phidias, the Iroon, the Leonideo, the Chamber of Deputies, the Stoa (Gallery) of Echo… One of the most important buildings was the Temple of Jupiter. It was the biggest temple of Peloponnese. Here was found the gold and ivory statue of Jupiter, work of Phidias, which was made 430 B.C., had height of 12 m. and is considered one of the seven marvels of the world. When the Olympic Games were suppressed during 393 A.C., this statue was transported in Istanbul. There it was destroyed by fire. The Temple of Ira (Hera) that we see in front us is imposing as well. Few steps from its entrance we can find the altar where the "touch of Olympic flame" starts. We continue for the Crypt, the vaulted entrance of the Stadium, that connects the Stadium with the Holy area. The stadium that is stretched out in front of us is dated back to the 5th century B.C. In the Archaeological Museum of Olympia we will have the occasion to admire important archaeological discoveries. A visit in the Museum of Olympic Games also worth’s your time.