Alex Roque

Writer By Night

Wandering Wednesday – Olympia [Part 2]

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“It is not living that matters, but living rightly.” -Socrates

Last week I posted my first set of pictures from my trip to Olympia, and this week of course I have more! I haven’t been able to watch much of the Olympics, as I don’t have TV [*gasp], but I have been trying to keep up on the news of the results as much as possible. One thing I really enjoyed watching was the different people who got to carry the torch prior to the opening ceremony – I couldn’t imagine how it feels to be a part of that tradition, even though it is a fairly recent on, it symbolizes the start of an awesome series of historical events.

In ancient times, there was always a flame lit in Hera’s temple, and additional flames were lit in Zeus’s during the Olympic Games. Nowadays, the torch is brought from Olympia to the location of the games [a tradition started in 1936 when the Olympics were in Berlin].

The location of the torch lighting ceremony

These days, there is a ceremony in which eleven women represent the Vestal Virgins, and they light the torch using a parabolic mirror and the light of the Sun. This occurs in front of the Temple of Hera, where the Olympic flame was always lit in ancient times.

Hera’s Temple

Then of course, we had to check out the Olympic stadium!

They believe there were statues on each of these pedastals

The archway leading to the stadium

Ta-da!

Where the judges sat during the games

The starting line!

I didn’t run the length of the stadium, as many tourists were doing, because I wouldn’t have made it very far. ^^

The last thing I want to show you from Olympia is the Nike of Paeonius. In front of the Temple of Zeus, we saw this pillar:

So, according to our tour guide, this is where the statue once stood, and that winners of the Olympic Games would stand beneath her to symbolize her awarding their victory. However I haven’t been able to find any information to back that up! If anyone knows if that is true or not, please feel free to let me know.

But in the archaeological museum they now have the statue of Nike on display.

One detail to really look at here is how her clothes are formed – the material looks like it is clinging to her, possibly to give the effect of her descent towards Earth. It’s a shame it is in the state it’s in, but at least something remains at all. Another museum held a mock of up what the statue is believed to have looked like.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hope you have enjoyed this quick look at the locale of the ancient Olympics!

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