Katakolon (Olympia), Greece
Near the fishing village of Katakolon sits Olympia, one of the most important religious centers of ancient Greece. This fascinating destination is the site of the original Olympic games and the Temple of Zeus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Since the modern Games were revived in 1896, the Olympic torchbearers return to Olympia every two years to ignite the flame, which is then carried to the site of the next Olympic games.
More than 40,000 spectators could fill the stadium to witness contests ranging from foot races to the pentathlon. But, it was also a place of neutrality where people of neighboring independent states could meet, compete, worship and honor one another for their accomplishments.
Temple of Zeus
These ruins of massive dimension are still an impressive sight. Only a bit smaller than the Parthenon in Athens, it was a classic temple in the Doric style, first built in the fifth century, BC.
Other Olympia landmarks include the Prytaneion, a complex where winners were feted and where the eternal flame for the original Olympic games once burned.
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