Olympia is an impressive archeological site located in Greece that was first used in the 10th century B.C. when it was a place to worship the god Zeus. This is where the Olympic Games originated from, with the remains of sports complexes dating back to 776 B.C. Similar to our Olympics, they held games every 4 years in Olympia for the best athletes to compete in. The games were held to honor the father of gods, Zeus. Olympia was seen as a place of peaceful competition, where people could go and get along, but compete against each other in the games.
Throughout Olympia, mansions for the inhabitants and visitors were erected, along with baths. The House of Nero was where the emperor would stay in Olympia during the games. As more mansions and villas were built during the Roman age, many of the treasures that were in the sanctuary of Olympia was used for decoration for these homes, and therefore were not preserved. An aqueduct ran through the city, supplying water to everyone.
The stadium of Olympia
The stadium of Olympia is where the games were held every 4 years. During the Hellenistic period, a gymnasium and palaestra were added on to the athletic complex. There used to be a hippodrome that was used for horse and chariot racing but has since disappeared beneath the Alpheios river.
The Altis is a sacred, enclosed area with many different types of trees that was created in the 10th century B.C. This enclosed area is protected with walls and has alters where sacrifices were made to worship Zeus. Small figurines of Zeus were found in this area, dating back thousands of years, along with other votives that were offered to the gods. Numerous temples, fountains, and other altars fill the Altis area.
The Temple of Zeus
The most notable building within the Altis is the Temple of Zeus, which is the biggest temple in the Peloponnese area and was built around 470 B.C. The Temple of Hera is also in the Altis, along with a temple that is dedicated to Cybele, the mother of all of the gods. Most of the statues and other relics that were in this temple and other buildings nearby was lost due to looters throughout the years.