Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Olympics - Olympia, Greece

Olympia, Greece is the home to the ancient olympic games. They were held at this sacred site for almost 12 centuries from 776 BC to 394 AD. In part, the olympics were to honor the Greek Gods. A 40 foot statue of Zeus known as the Temple of Zeus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient world, once stood at the site.

Temple of Zeus - Today and sketch of original

The Roman emperor Theodosius I was a Christian. To promote Christianity he ordered the end of the olympics and other Pagen rituals. At this time most of the statues and other symbols of the Greek Gods were destroyed. The site underwent further destruction from earthquakes.  Although the buildings lay in ruins, this was a fascinating place to visit.

The Palestra was the building next to the gymnasium. It was another building for the training athletes. During training and competition the atheletes were covered in a layer of olive oil and dirt. That's it. No clothes. The word gymnasium actually means naked.

This photo is from the workshop of Pheidias. Pheidias was the sculptor who created the statue of Zeus and many of the other statues from the site.

The Philippeon was a temple to Philip of Macedon who conquered the Greeks in 338 BC.

A short walk from the site of the Ancient Olympic games is a museum which houses sculpture and other artifacts from the site.

This is where the athletes entered the stadium. The arch once formed a 100 foot long tunnel.

The stadium seats approximately 45,000 spectators and looks much like it did in ancient times. Next week the Olympic Games are set to open (July 27, 2012). The Olympic torch was lit from this ancient site and should be arriving safely in London, England.

This post is linked to:
Fantastic Photo Field Trips
No Time for Flash Cards 


  1. Kids and I are doing a unit on the Olympics so I will be showing them this in the morning:)

  2. Wow! You were able to go to these places? That's awesome! Found you on Finding Beauty homeschooling link up. :)

  3. What a great contribution for our 'Kids Bloggers Go Olympics' Bloghop!

    Thank you fro sharing,

    With Love,

  4. I love that you gave us all a little history with some pictures to visualize about the Olympics!! I featured this at TGIF this week - - Thanks for linking up, hope to see you again later today, and have a GREAT weekend!
    Beth =-)

  5. What a fantastic field trip destination!


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