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Ancient Olympia - Temple of Hera

Ancient Olympia

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Sights in Ancient Olympia

Ancient Olympia - Ancient Olympia stadium Ancient Olympia stadium
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Ancient Olympia - Prytaneion at Olympia Prytaneion at Olympia
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Ancient Olympia - Temple of Hera Temple of Hera
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Ancient Olympia - Archaeological museum of Olympia Archaeological museum of Olympia
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Ancient Olympia - Palaestra at Olympia Palaestra at Olympia
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Ancient Olympia - Bouleuterion at Olympia Bouleuterion at Olympia
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Ancient Olympia - Ancient gymnasium at Olympia Ancient gymnasium at Olympia
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Ancient Olympia - Feidias Workshop Feidias Workshop
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Informations
Population: 8.128
Description: Arguably one of the most important buildings in ancient Olympia was the temple of Zeus. Through a dedicatory inscription of Spartan historians note that the construction of the temple began in 470 BC and ended in 456 BC. Built by citizens of Elia to honor Zeus for winning campaigns conducted during Trifiliaki wars. The architect was Livonas the Elis and objectively was a majestic temple that towered in the center of the holy city. It features thirteen columns in width and the 13th on the long sides. The height of the columns reaches 10.43 meters and the diameter is 2.25 meters. The temple had a pronaos (cella, inner chamber of classical temples) and a regressive and at the entrance of the vestibule was the place were Olympic champions were crowned while the larger part of the floor was covered by a mosaic of exceptional quality that some parts are preserved until today. In the depth of the alcove was placed the gold and ivory statue of Zeus that was one of seven wonders of ancient world. The statue was made around 430 BC by Phidias, had a height of 12 meters, and depicting the god Zeus sits on his throne and holding a scepter and a winged Victory. The bare body parts were made of ivory while the garment and the throne was brought gold and mythological scenes. The temple had rich decoration and austere style but unfortunately it is not known the artist creator. The pediments of the temple depict scenes from the chariot race between Pelops and Oenomaus, the Centaurs and the labours of Hercules. The church was badly damaged when it burned down in 426 AD by the orders of the Emperor Theodosius II and largely demolished in 522 and 551 AD after two major earthquakes. The first excavations at the monument began in 1829 by a French mission and completed several years later by German archaeologists. Today parts of the metope are hosted in the Louvre while most of the parts are waiting for you to admire them at the archaeological museum of Olympia.

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