On the southern Greek peninsula Peloponnisos is the hometown to an ancient yet lasting tradition. Olympia was the original home of the Greek Olympics, a sports tournament that has evolved over the many years into a modern, international and remarkable event. What is now in ruins still represents something that bridges generations and civilizations. The Olympic flame for the torch relay is still lit in Olympia first.
The ruins are of a place that contained the interesting combination of sports facilities and temples to the gods. Some areas leave unrecognizable remains of structures, yet with impressive details still intact. However, there are a few special locations that have enough pieces standing that visitors might be able to imagine what the structure once looked like. Each temple area has a sign with an image of what it should have looked like when it was first constructed. One most notable to tourists is usually the Temple of Hera, since it’s where the Olympic flame is always lit.
The famous stadium started to be excavated in the late 1800’s, and it sort of just looks like a dirt field after you pass through what was once a tunnel entryway, so it can be a little hard to imagine it being surrounded by spectators and full of athletes… unless you count the tourists running the length of it while their family members take pictures for Instagram.
It’s said that events in the stadium allowed only male participants and spectators, but women used to hide behind the tree line on the hill to watch… because the athletes were all naked. When and why uniforms had to come in to play, I shall never understand.
All photos via Sarah Freeman