The greater the difficulty, the more the glory in surmounting it. – Epicurus
In honor of the Olympics, I have decided to post pictures from our trip to Olympia, Greece. This was one of those days when my mind was just completely blown away. One of the many, actually.
The Olympic Games can be traced back as far as 776 BC. There are various types of architecture visible when walking around what remains of the ancient site – the marble represents when Greeks were building, and brick shows when the Romans came into the picture. The whole area was actually hidden away for centuries by deposits from the nearby river flooding, and wasn’t discovered again until 1766. Due to how it was buried, there is not much left standing.
Okay, enough with the chatter [I can’t help it, I was so excited], here are the pictures! This post was a bit tough for me, because there are so many awesome pictures to choose from.
[EDIT: I’ve decided to make this a two-parter. I just couldn’t skim this one down!]
First, this map shows what is currently visible
When we first crossed into the site, it was crazy to look out and see all the ruins. The first thing we saw was the gymnasium.
And then my love for Alexander the Great was first treated when we came to the ruins of the Philippeion temple. This temple was one of the few circular temples created as a memorial to Alexander the Great’s immediate family.
One of the tragedies about this place is that it used to hold one of the seven wonders of the ancient world within the Temple of Zeus. The statue had been 39 feet tall and the temple created for it was just as massive. However, this is all that is left now.
Literally one pillar remains, the others all cast aside and broken apart.
The statue is no longer here either. The story goes that it was taken to Constantinople and was destroyed in a fire. There seems to be a dispute about this, as some stories suggest it was burned when the temple itself was. In the nearby museum though, they do have a picture of what the statue is believed to have looked like.
And to finish this part 1 post, here is where my mind was complete comatose for a good few seconds. During excavations, they discovered the workshop of Phidias, who created the statue, along with many of his tools and molds [which is why they can reproduce much of the statue]. But the craziest part? The cups used have “I belong to Phidias” etched into the bottom of them.
Next week I will post more pics, including ones of the original Olympic stadium!