Cities of Greece: Olympia
The business card of all Western Peloponnese – Ancient Olympia (Olympia, Olymbia) lies in the north-west of the peninsula, in Elide, in the Mezhdia of the Alfios (the largest river on the peninsula) and the clandee, at the foot of the Kronos Hill (Chronon).
The modern village of Olympia is valid only as a center for servicing the archaeological site and contains the Museum of Modern Olympic Games on its territory (open from Monday to Saturday from 8.00 to 15.30, Sunday – from 9.00 to 16.thirty; 2 euros), museum of the history of the ancient Olympic Games and the Museum of Site History (both are open in the summer daily from 8.00 to 19.30, in winter – from Thursday to Saturday with 8.30 to 15.00; Free admission). The main point of attraction is the unique archaeological complex of ancient Olympia, which is considered the birthplace of ancient games and the modern Olympic movement as such.
The origin of the Games in Olympia is lost in the eyelids. Usually their birth is attributed to Pelops, who won in the contests of the chariot king Pisov Enonaya, or Hercules, who is considered the first winner of the Games. It is most likely that the competition began near the XI century BC as a local festival and only to the VIII century BC. NS. They turned into a national holiday. But traditionally the date of the first Olympiad is considered to be 776 years before. NS., approximately at the same time introduced and "Olympic truce", For the period of which all wars between the Greek policies stopped. At the same time, Olympia itself remained a purely temple complex, inhabited by priests. For almost a thousand years, this religious and sports festival was one of the main centers of public life Eldlas, only in 394. NS. The Emperor of the Roman Empire Feodosius prohibits the holding of the Olympic Games, in 426. NS. The famous temple of Zeus is destroyed, and Olympia comes in decline.
Now the territory of Archey-Olympia (ancient Olympia) was turned into an extensive archaeological monument in the open air and entered into the UNESCO World Heritage List. Her gate is usually open from May to October – daily from 8.00 to 19.00; From November to April – from Monday to Friday from 8.00 to 17.00, on Saturday and Sunday – from 8.30 to 15.00; The entrance ticket is worth 6 euros or 9 euros – for the whole site and archaeological museum. In this area, almost the entire process of becoming an antiquity of ancient Olympic movement can be traced, inspect the famous stadium, the foundations of the statues of Olympionics with well-distinguished names of the heroes of the ancient games, the Roman terms, Titanaion (scene of the judges), Ruins Gymnasium and the Palestra, Theocoleion ("House of Priests") and a few treasury, and also walk along the once-fired all complex of the wall of Altis.
In the center of Olympia, the heart of the sanctuary is gradually restored – a large Doric Temple of Zeus, built between 470 and 456, to a new era and quite capable of competing in size with Parfenon. It is here that the Olympic Flames occurred from the Heavenly Fire – the tradition, ongoing and in our days. The smaller temple of Gera was the first sanctuary in Olympia (approximately VII in. to N. NS.) and still is the most well-preserved construction on the site. And between these two complexes lies the grove, described by the Peasania as Pelopayon, that is "Place Pelops". It is possible that it was here that the ashes of sacrificial altars scattered, the chief altar of the temple of Zeus was somewhat east.
To the west of the temple of the gera, you can detect ruins "Prospekt" Filipheyon – the first secular monument of the sanctuary built by Philip II after the victory of Heronee, with which the glory of his son Alexander began. Eastern towers small "House Fontana" (II B. to N. NS.) – a gift of Olympia of the omnipresent geroda attic. And in front of numerous treasures on the first terrace of the Kronos hill lie the ruins of the Doric Temple of the metroon dedicated to the Mother of God. And every year archaeologists discover all new traces of history.