A day at the Olympia

Yesterday the pupils of 10th Primary school of Kalamata presented us the ceremonies regarding the Olympic Games. Today we got the chance to actually visit the historical Olympia where the games were held.

The tradition of the Olympic Games dates back to 776 BC and the games were held every four years for 1200 years. The games lasted for five days. When the games began, there was a truce of three months so that the atheletes could travel to the games and back safely. Thus the Olympic Games were -and still are- for peace. Also the ideology of fair play has its origins in the ancient Olympic Games. Those who didn't honour the rule, had their names carved on stones on a "walk of shame" leading to the stadium.

The Olympic flame is still lit by the temple of Hera like they did nearly 2800 years ago. We got to see the the altar for lighting the fire, which is in the picture. From the altar, we went to the famous stadium where the actual games were held. Back then, women were not allowed to participate in the Olympic Games and another peculiar detail is that the athletes competed naked. This is our modern day version of the ancient Olympic Games ;)

Finally we left for the Archaeological Museum of Olympia. The palaces of ancient Olympia had been almost completely destroyed by the enemies and earth quakes, but several statues of the glorious palaces had luckily survived under a thick layer of dirt from the flooding rivers.

These statues are in the museum, among them one of the most famous of Greek statues, Hermes. Hermes is considered to be the embodiment of beauty. On our way back to Kalamata, we stopped for a generous and tasty lunch.

Back in Kalamata, we shared our last dinner together in the beautiful, historical center of Kalamata. Thank you, our lovely hosts, for the wonderful dinner and a day full of fantastic experiences in the rustle of the wings of history.


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