A Tribute to Ancient Olympia


Cultural Heritage: Honoring the Past, Awareness-raising for the Future

 

The hospitality sector is inextricably linked to the monuments, cultural sites and museums of each region. Visitors tend to choose their destinations on the basis of both natural and cultural heritage sites.

The Aldemar Resorts Group owns hospitality accommodation in two locations of unparalleled beauty and importance, Skafidia in Ilia and Hersonissos in the municipality of Heraklion on the island of Crete. In line with its Values, Aldemar Resorts Group, recognizing the major importance of the Cultural Heritage of each region, promotes and supports actions and events related to the monuments and sites.

The World Heritage Convention (1972) states that “…the deterioration or disappearance of any element of cultural or natural heritage makes the heritage of all the nations of the world poorer…”

The Aldemar Resorts Group, recognizing that the past through the culture and legacies of previous generations constitutes a source of knowledge for planning and at the same time anticipating the future, supports any initiative that safeguards and promotes our cultural heritage and advances issues of cultural and social diversity.

 

Have you chosen the Aldemar Olympian Village & Royal Olympian? These are the must-see Heritage Sites!

 

Ancient Olympia: The history of the Olympic Games

In the Western Peloponnese, and just half an hour from our hotels in Skafidia, in the valley of the river Alpheus, also called the Valley of the Gods, thrived the most glorified sanctuary of ancient Greece, in honor of Zeus, the father of the gods, and the birthplace of the most important sporting events, Ancient Olympia. UNESCO included the archaeological site of Ancient Olympia in 1989 on the World List of Cultural Heritage Sites. The buildings used in ancient times as places of worship, sports, conferences, etc. fascinate all visitors to the area.

Undoubtedly one of the things that everyone who visits ancient Olympia should do is a visit to the Archaeological Museum of Olympia and admire some of the most important artifacts of antiquity, such as the statue of Hermes of Praxiteles, the masterpiece of ancient Greek plastic art the Victory of Paion and the sculptural decoration of the Temple of Zeus, a composition that survives in excellent condition to the present day. During the summer months, those who visit the area can attend the International Festival of Arts of Ancient Olympia, which is a reference point and a cultural hub through the performances and artistic events it hosts. Nowadays, in the same place where the Olympic Games were born, the Olympic Flame Lighting Ceremony is held, an event worth experiencing for every visitor.

 

 

 

Ancient Elis: The Road of Truce

In ancient times, the metropolis of the Olympic Games was ancient Elis. Before the Olympic Games, they declared Truce, the highest value of the Games, as it signified brotherhood and peace. Athletes entering the Kingdom of Elis would leave their weapons at the city borders and for a month they would train together and share a common diet. After the first judgement of the judges, the athletes, the elenodikes, the priests, etc., were led in convoy from Ancient Elis to Ancient Olympia to perform the games. Nowadays, runners from all over the world cover the same distance in a captivating event, giving a strong message of friendship between peoples and peace. In Ancient Elis, however, the International Festival is also held in Ancient Elis, with numerous musical and theatrical performances and other artistic events, which attract the interest of both residents and visitors.

 

More treasures of antiquity

As it is customary to say, the region of Ilia is blessed by the gods. The wealth of ancient monuments that can be visited by guests of the region confirms this. The temple of Apollo of Epicure, the first Greek monument to be included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, is one of the best-preserved buildings of classical antiquity. It is an elegant artifact of Iktinos that captivates every visitor.

 

Enchanting natural landscapes

In addition to the monuments of unparalleled beauty, the region is an attraction thanks to the unsurpassed nature that surrounds it. From the river Alpheus and the waterfalls of Neda that form small ponds in which nature lovers can swim to the natural thermal baths of Kaiafa and the Natura 2000 territories with the magnificent forest surrounding them, everyone can live unique experiences in this blessed place.

 

For traditional local products lovers

A stone’s throw from our hotel in Skafidia Ilia is the traditional large farm of the Merkouri family. The farm dates back to 1864 with wonderful vineyards and olive groves and is surrounded by lush natural landscapes and is characterized by rich flora and fauna. Visitors can enjoy and purchase wines and oils produced on the estate.

 

 

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