Olympic Origins – A Visit to Ancient Olympia, Greece

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If you have ever watched the ceremony of Greek Priestesses lighting the Olympic flame in advance of an Olympics Game, this is where that happens – at the Temple of Hera in Ancient Olympia. Once every four years, this ceremony is held as the lit flame then takes off on its journey to the site of that year’s Olympic Games.

Ruins of Temple of Hera in Ancient Olympia, Greece
Ruins of Temple of Hera in Ancient Olympia, Greece

The archaeological site of Olympia is a world UNESCO site.  Located in the Valley of Peloponnesus, the site is about 45 minutes or so from Katakolon.

Vaulted Entrance to Stadium, Ancient Olympia, Greece
Vaulted Entrance to Stadium, Ancient Olympia, Greece

Largely, the archaeological site consists of the remains of the different sporting structures which were erected for the original games that began in 776BC.

Archaeological Site of Olympia, Greece
Archaeological Site of Olympia, Greece

The ruins of the Philippeion, shown in the photo below, are what remains of the original colonnade that had 18 columns and a marble roof. It was built to celebrate King Philip’s Battle of Chaeronea, King Philip being king of the ancient Greek Kingdom of Macedon from 359BC to 336BC.

Ruins of the Philippeion in Ancient Olympia, Greece
Ruins of the Philippeion in Ancient Olympia, Greece
Philippeion
Philippeion
Ruins of Philippeion, Ancient Olympia, Greece
Ruins of Philippeion, Ancient Olympia, Greece
Ancient Olympia, Greece
Ancient Olympia, Greece

A popular activity is to take a horse and carriage ride around the perimeter of the archaeological site.

Horse and Carriage Ride around Ancient Olympia site
Horse and Carriage Ride around Ancient Olympia site

Today’s modern Olympics have come a long way from the original games that consisted of events such as foot races, wrestling, discus, javelin throwing, long jump, boxing, and horse and chariot racing.

Have you visited Ancient Olympia?

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