Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Olympia, Greece

Olympia is on the west side of the Pelopenese peninsula in Greece. Katakolon is the closest port. For this visit we hired a taxi to take us to Olympia, wait for us, and bring us back to Katakolon. Great way to visit Olympia. We could see what we wanted and spend as much or  as little time as we wanted. We could also avoid crowds this way. Olympia was a sanctuary with several temples as well as an athletic training site and the place where the ancient Olympics were held. Please see my blog of 10/16/ 09 for more details and photos.

The four photos below show some of the ruins of the sanctuary.


The photo below shows a wall with an interesting pattern used in it's construction.

This column and the platform on which it rests is basically all that remains of the Temple of Zeus. This temple contained a huge ivory and gold statue of Zeus, one of the Ancient Wonders of the World.

Below is what I think is part of the Temple of Hera. If memory serves me correctly, the Olympic fire is lit in the stone bowl, using a parabolic mirror to ignite it.. The Olympic torch is lit from the bowl and then carried to the site of the modern Olympics.

Below are the remains of  the Philippeion.

Below are the remains of the tunnel entrance to the Olympic stadium. Only the 20 finalists in each event were allowed to use this tunnel. This photo is taken from the stadium looking out the tunnel.

Above is the stadium showing the starting line. About halfway down on the left is a stone stand where a priestess stood, the only woman allowed in the stadium.

Above are terra cotta decorations from the friezes of buildings, adding in my view, much needed color. Below is a lion's head, also probably decoration on a building.

For some reason or other I really like the sculpture of the bull shown below. Maybe 'cause I'm an old cowboy.

The handsome dude below appears to be having his beard yanked by someone, maybe his grandson.

This is the harbor of Katakolon. The last photo is the beautiful blue Ionian sea, as we leave Katakolon behind.

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