Olympia is a ruined ancient sanctuary, home of the ancient Olympic Games. Home of the massive Statue of Zeus, ranked as one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
Olympia is located near the western coast of the Peloponnese peninsula of southern Greece. Distance 10 miles (16 km) from the Ionian Sea, near a point where the Alpheus (Alfios) and Cladeus (Kladios) rivers meet. Set amid an idyllic countryside consisting of low, wooded hills alternating with farmland. Because, the Olympia archaeological site is of outstanding cultural significance. Therefore, it is an UNESCO World Heritage site since 1989.
The ancient remains Ancient Olympia
The sacred area, known as the Altis, or Sacred Grove of Zeus. It is an irregular quadrangle more than 600 feet (183 metres) on a side. Bounded on the north by the hill of Cronus and enclosed by a wall on the other three sides. In it were the temples of Zeus and Hera, the principal altars and votive offerings, the treasuries, and the administrative buildings. Outside were the athletic installations and the hostels, baths, and other accommodations for visitors.
The Temple of Zeus is the largest and most important building at Olympia. Therefore, is one of the largest Doric temples in Greece. Built about 460 bce by the architect Libon of Elis. The temple is made of a coarse local shell conglomerate, the exposed surfaces being covered with a coat of fine white stucco. The temple has 6 columns across the front and 13 on the sides. Its pronaos (porch) and opisthodomos (rear porch) provided access to the lofty central hall, or cella. It Temple has three aisles with two rows of slender columns.
The temple is richly decorated with sculpture. Much of which survives and in the local Archaeological Museum. In the front gable appears the chariot race between Pelops and Oenomaus. In the back gable contains the battle of the Lapiths and Centaurs at the wedding of Pirithous.