Ancient Olympia

near Marathopoli





Built in the valley of the Alpheus River

Olympia was the ancient sanctuary dedicated to Zeus , with events introduced every four years in honor of , the notorious Olympic Games. The first Games were held in 776 BC , when , according to tradition , Lycurgus of Sparta came to an agreement with Ifitos , King of Elis , on the establishment of religious events at Olympia in honor of the god . At maturity , indeed , it was agreed that all Greece would prevail truce . The celebrations were held regularly every four years, until 393 AD , when the emperor Theodosius I abolished them , denouncing them as a pagan custom. The games were revived much later , in 1896 , when at the initiative of Baron Pierre de Coubertin organized again in their hometown after many centuries , and have since established itself as a global event .



The discovery of the area was in 1766 , excavations were initiated much later , in 1829 , by the French Scientific Mission to the Peloponnese . The first major excavation began in 1875 led by German archaeologist Ernst Curtius. By 1881 they had come to light important findings , such as the notorious Hermes of Praxiteles and win the Paionios . Between 1908-1929 excavations performed again by Wilhelm Dörpfeld. Between the years 1952-1966 in the excavations at Olympia worked by Emil Kunze, Hans Schleif and Alfred Mallwitz. Since then and until today there were several investigations confirmed many dates and came to light many details . Investigations are continuing to this day , as the archaeological site seems to have a lot more to uncover .

In the center of the site is the Altis, the sacred forest , which includes the most important buildings . Here stands the magnificent temple of Zeus , from the most important monuments of the site , seen as the largest temple in the Peloponnese , and even here kept the brilliant gold and ivory statue of Zeus , height 13 meters , made by the sculptor Phidias the early 430 am X. The statue is considered one of the seven wonders of the world . According to the dedicatory inscription of the Spartans , the temple was built in 456 BC and a model of the Doric order . In the north there is the old church , which was dedicated to Hera . This temple must have been built around 600 BC , as a tribute to the sanctuary of Olympia residents Skillous , an ancient city of Elis . In the temple guarded one of the most important and most valuable works of the sanctuary , the Hermes of Praxiteles .


The church now survives only in fragments , and some fragments in the Archaeological Museum of Olympia . There is also the Registry, a temple dedicated to Rhea - Cybele , the mother of the gods , and the back of the treasures that were erected as tributes the Greek cities and colonies . To the west stands the Nymphaeum : aqueduct was dedicated by Herodes Atticus in the sanctuary . Besides these there was the Philippieion , tribute of Philip II , the Prytaneum the Pelopio , and many altars , statues and Hadrian . Outside the Altis met one the parliament , the South Stoa , Gymnasium , where he trained athletes , the Palaestra , the workshop of Phidias , the Baths, the Leonidaion , the villa of Nero , and of course the Stadium, where the Olympic Games were held , capacity of 45,000 spectators.



information mythicalpeloponnese


How to get


Driving through EO9 • 90,4 chm.1 h. 40 minutes.



Marathópoli is one of the most beautiful corners of Messinia.


Proti Island

Proti Island with the monastery of Panagia Gorgopigi.



It is 15 km from the palace of the legendary King Nestor of ancient Greece and also 15 km from the Museum of the Mycenaean period in the Country.


Friendly Destination