Ancient Olympia

Area/Site in West Greece

The birthplace of the Olympic Games and Zeus' sanctuary, here you should visit museums, wander around the ruins, and run in the ancient stadium.

Ancient Olympia Attractions

An overview of the Ancient Olympia Stadium with visitors setting up for races.
hidden gem

Ancient Olympia Stadium

Here you can sprint on the very grounds ancient Olympic athletes did. The actual home of all Olympic Games between 776BC and 393AD.

Temple of Zeus

The biggest temple in Peloponnese and the best example of Doric architecture. Dedicated to Zeus, its construction lasted from 470 BC to 456 BC.

Temple of Hera

Dedicated to Goddess Hera it dates back to 600BC and is considered to be one of the oldest examples of monumental architecture in Ancient Greece.

Philippeion

A circular memorial dedicated to the Zeus Sanctuary by Phillip ll, which also included the statues of the members of the Macedonian family.

Palaestra of Olympia

A structure that dates from the 3rd century BC and it was serving as a training place for athletes in boxing, wrestling, and jumping.

Bouleuterion of Olympia

Administrative center of the ancient Olympic Games, seat of the judges and referees, and place where the penalties and the objections were discussed.

Workshop of Phidias

Working space of antiquity's great sculptor, Phidias, who created the golden-ivory statue of Zeus, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

Prytaneion of Olympia

Center of the administrative and political life of the sanctuary and seat of the officials responsible for the monthly sacrifices to the Gods.

Ancient Gymnasium of Olympia

This large enclosed building, the Gymnasium, was ..well.. the gym. The Athletes here would train in running, throwing the javelin and discus, and other sports.

Ancient Olympia Things to Do

Panayia Kremasti Monastery

Impressive convent of the 17th century built on a steep rock and dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

An photo showing the external part and the walls of the Skafidia Monastery.
photo: Kolchak1923
distant ≈ 38.5km

Skafidia Monastery

Historical convent that was founded around the 10th century in an area of excess natural beauty and dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

Ancient Olympia Museums

Archaeological Museum of Olympia

A wondrous museum that hosts Hermes of Praxitelis and other magnificent statues from Zeus Sanctuary and birthplace of the Olympic Games, Olympia.

The main entrance of the Archimedes Museum in the settlement of the Ancient Olympia.
hidden gem

Archimedes Museum

Amazing interactive museum with replicas of Archimedes designs that reveals the science and the technology existing in Ancient Greece.

Ancient Olympic Games History Museum

Founded in 1888, the first museum established away from the capital, hosts over 400 items of the history of the games from 2000 BC to 500 AD.

Ancient Olympia Settlements

A big cruise ship approaches the port of Katakolo and a small fishing boat is anchored by its coast.
distant ≈ 38.2km

Katakolo Port Town

Small and picturesque settlement dominated by its famous tourist port that is approached by numerous cruise ships on an annual basis.

Ancient Olympia Day Trips

Questions & Answers about Ancient Olympia

Why Visit Ancient Olympia?
  • Biggest sports event of antiquity started in 776 BC in the so-called "Valley of gods".
  • During the Olympic Games, any potential hostility & war act were interrupted.
  • Every 4 years, the Olympic torch relay of the modern games takes place here.
How was the impressive temple of Zeus in Olympia?

Arguably one of the most important buildings in ancient Olympia was the temple of Zeus. Its construction began in 470 BC and ended in 456 BC, while it was built by citizens of Elis honoring Zeus for winning campaigns conducted during Trifiliaki wars. The architect was Livonas and his work resulted in a majestic temple that towered in the center of the holy city. It features 6 columns in width and the 13 on the long sides. The height of the columns reaches 10.43 meters and the diameter is 2.25 meters. The temple was the place where the Olympic champions were crowned. A large part of its floor was covered by a mosaic and inside it was placed the 12 meters gold and ivory statue of Zeus (made by Phidias around 430 BC) which was one of seven wonders of the ancient world. The temple 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 temple are hosted in the Louvre while most of the parts are exhibits of the archaeological museum of Olympia.

×