No one leaves Olympia unmoved. The feel of the place, although destroyed by overzealous Christians, is much more than the sum of its sights.
Here is my own personal view of Olympia. Click on an image to enlarge.
What a gym looked like.
The old stadion at Olympia of length, erm, one stadion (192 m). Ever wondered where a stadium got its name from?
The Tholos at Olympia built by Philip II and with finishing touches by Alexander the Great
The devil is in the detail.
A christian cross at the workshop of Pheidias which later became a church.Christian Emperors not only stopped the pagan Olympic games, but they also burned the place to the ground.
Lazy dog in front of the temple of Hera. The Tholos in the background.
It doesn’t look much, but this is where the athletes and the judges took their oath before the Olympic games, a tradition revived in 1896.
Inside the museum, there is much to admire.
A bronze griffin in the Olympia museum. There were many , Oriental-inspired sculptures at Olympia in the early period (Eighth century BC).
Ancient Greek helmets as featured in the film ‘300’.
This is the brass handle of a vase. Why buid a boring semicircle when you can make it more exciting? Fascinating.
Every exhibit tells a story.
Can you guess what this is? It’s a halter, a weight used by a long-jumper to swing him forward.
Copper laurel leaves. These are offerings; the winners were crowned with a wreath of wild olive growing on the site.
This small vase and figurine were two of many items stolen in November 2012 from the museum of the history of the Olympic games. All items stolen were recovered after one of the thieves approached an undercover policeman in Patras and tried to sell him a gold ring from the loot.
The statuary is astonishing.
Maybe the most evocative Ancient Greek statue at Olympia: Apollo looking serene in the fight between Lapiths and Centaurs
Your roaming charges are HOW MUCH?
This naked youth, probably a cupbearer, is right at the end of the action and is picking his toes, bored, despite the momentous events happening in the rest of the pediment. And isn’t this exactly what a teenager would do today?
and includes a masterpiece:
Hermes by Praxiteles is one of the most famous Ancient Greek statues. It’s clear though from the unsightly bar connecting it to the tree trunk that it’s been tampered with during Roman times.