Discover Ancient Olympia city state. Did you know that the word Olympic comes from the name of the town Olympia in Greece where the ancient Olympic games were always ? Learn about Ancient Olympia Greece history. How big was Ancient Olympia ? Where is Ancient Olympia located ? How to get to ancient Olympia. I will answer you about all that and more….
Where is Ancient Olympia ? It is in western Peloponnese at the foot of the Kronion Hill. It stretches over a triangular alluvial terrace at the confluence of the Alfios river. See Ancient olympia site maps
What is Ancient Olympia ? It was a sanctuary of ancient Greece dedicated to Zeus, the father of the gods of Olympus Mount but from 1.000 BC on, it was dedicated to Pelops and Ηippodamia. Olympia became afterwards the most important athletic centre in Greece. The honouring Panhellenic games (Olympic Games) were held every four years from 776 BCE to 393 CE.
How to get to Ancient Olympia ? You can get there with a rent car from Athens airport (325 kms) or from Kalamata airport (125 kms).
How big was Ancient Olympia ? The first large buildings have been constructed in the Archaic time and have been finished in the late 4th century BC. See plan of Olympia to see how big it was.
The most big temple was the one dedicated to Hera (650-457 BC) with massive 10 meters high doric 6 x 13 columns in order to house a huge statue of Zeus which was regarded as one of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World until its loss during the 5th century AD. The temple is the location where the torch of Olympic flame is lit by focusing the rays of the sun.
Located in the north of the sanctuary, you can be find the Prytaneio (where the priests and magistrates lived, below photo on the left) and the Philippeion (338 BC, memorial monument, photo on the left). To the south of the sanctuary is the Βouleuterion.
In the West side, you can see baths and a swimming pool (5th century BCE), the stadium with embankments for spectators (4th cent.BC, photo No 1 below), a palaestra (3rd cent.BC, photo No 3 below), a gymasium (2nd cent. BC, photo No 2 below) and an hippodrome (780 m long, photo No 4 is its entrance).
Accommodation near olympia greece : Actually, I propose you to visit Ancient Olympia in one all day, as I did. Enjoy your stay nearby the sea ! At Fotis rooms (book here) at 1km from the seaside at Skafidia village. I had a wonderful view from my balcony ; bedroom was huge and there is a nice taverna around there.