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One of Ancient Greece’s most celebrated sites, Olympia was a religious sanctuary dedicated to Zeus - it was here that the Statue of Zeus that was one of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World stood until the 5th century.
Located in the western Peloponnese in what is called the ‘Valley of the Gods’, Olympia is where, from the 8th century BCE to the 4th century CE, the ancient Olympic Games took place every four years. In fact, the Olympic flame for the modern Games is still lit here before it begins its journey to the next host country. Olympia was a ‘Panhellenic’ site, a place where all Greeks could worship, regardless of what city state they were from – the same applied to the Games, all hostilities were suspended between states so everyone could take part, the same ethos that remains in place at the Olympics today.
Today, Olympia is a wonderfully evocative place, even though very little of the temples, stadium and athletics facilities remain. Among the tree shaded ruins, however, there is still enough to give a hint of its former glory.
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