Argolis & Ancient Olympia
Argolis or the Argolid (Greek: Αργολίδα Argolída, [arɣoˈliða]; Ἀργολίς Argolís in ancient Greek and Katharevousa) is one of the regional units of Greece. It is part of the region of Peloponnese, situated in the eastern part of the Peloponnese peninsula and part of the tripoint area of Argolis, Arcadia and Corinthia. Much of the territory of this region is situation in the Argolid Peninsula.
Most arable land lies in the central part of Argolis. Its primary agricultural resources are oranges and olives. Argolis has a coastline on the Saronic Gulf in the northeast and on the Argolic Gulf in the south and southeast. Notable mountains ranges are the Oligyrtos in the northwest, Lyrkeio and Ktenia in the west, and Arachnaio and Didymo in the east.
Argolis has land borders with Arcadia to the west and southwest, Corinthia to the north, and the Islands regional unit (Troezen area) to the east. Ancient Argolis included Troezen.
From 1833 to 1899, Argolis was part of Argolidocorinthia, which included present Corinthia, Hydra, Spetses and Kythira. It joined Corinthia to form Argolidocorinthia again in 1909. Forty years later, in 1949, Argolis was finally separated from Corinthia.
Olympia (Greek: Ὀλυμπία; Ancient Greek: [ˈolympia]; Modern Greek: [oliˈbia] Olympía), a sanctuary of ancient Greece in Elis on the Peloponnese peninsula, is known for having been the site of the Olympic Games in classical times.
The Olympic Games were held every four years throughout Classical Antiquity, from the 8th century BC to the 4th century AD. The first Olympic Games were in honor of Zeus.
The sanctuary, known as the Altis, consists of an unordered arrangement of various buildings. Enclosed within the temenos (sacred enclosure) are the Temple of Hera(or Heraion/Heraeum), the Temple of Zeus, the Pelopion, and the area of the altar, where the sacrifices were made.
To the north of the sanctuary can be found the Prytaneion and the Philippeion, as well as the array of treasuries representing the various city-states. The Metroon lies to the south of these treasuries, with the Echo Stoa to the east. The hippodrome and later stadium were located east of the Echo Stoa. To the south of the sanctuary is the South Stoa and the Bouleuterion, whereas the Palaestra, the workshop of Pheidias, the Gymnasion, and the Leonidaion lie to the west.
Olympia was also known for the gigantic ivory and gold statue of Zeus that used to stand there, sculpted by Pheidias, which was named one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World by Antipater of Sidon. Very close to the Temple of Zeus which housed this statue, the studio of Pheidias was excavated in the 1950s. Evidence found there, such as sculptor’s tools, corroborates this opinion. The ancient ruins sit north of the Alfeios River and south of Mount Kronos (named after the Greek deityKronos). The Kladeos, a tributary of the Alfeios, flows around the area.