Olympia Architecture

Olympia architecture
About the architecture of Olympia, Greece

Olympia was a city of ancient Greece and the birthplace of the Olympic Games that were made in honor of Zeus every four years. The sacred city attracted many pilgrims who would come to take part to the games and kneel in the temples of Hera and Zeus. Therefore the architecture of Olympia was actually the architecture of a sanctuary and not a town.

The ancient site of Olympia is mostly famous for the ancient stadium, the paleastra (where the athletes would exercise their bodies), the workshop of Phidias where the famous sculptor would create his art pieces and the temple of Zeus and the temple of Hera. Excavations still take place in the site in order to discover more buildings.

In a walking distance from the ancient site is the modern town of Olympia, a traditional place with red-tiled roofs, paved streets and many plane trees. Although this town receives tourists all year round, it has managed to keep an authentic architectural style. The most characteristic building of modern Olympia in Greece is the stone building of the train station, recently renovated.

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The Herain, early sixth century BC, August 2011
Reconstructed column at the Temple of Zeus, August 2011
Stoa, August 2011
Philippeion, fourth century BC, August 2011
Apollo, sculpture group: Lapiths vs. Centaurs, fifth century BC, west pediment of the Temple of Zeus, August 2011
Hermes and the infant Dionysos, fourth century BC, sculpture by Praxiteles, August 2011