Archaeological Museum at Olympia
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I was very excited to stop in my first achaeological museum in Greece. This is something I had always dreamed of eventually seeing and I couldn't believe I was finally here! Our tour for the day included a stop at the museum and then on to the actual site of Olympia! I was in awe when we got inside the museum and proceeded to run around trying to take pictures of everything! LOL. Here are some of the highlights from the museum tour:
Hermes of Praxiteles
Dates back to 343 BC and made from Parian marble. It is the only known work to survive of Praxiteles and found at Olympia, intact under the ground in 1877 AD. The sculpture, "The Diamond of Olympia" represents Hermes, messenger of the Gods, holding Dionysus, who is reaching for something from his hand.
Nike of Paeonius
Paeonius (or Paionios) of Mende in Macedonia, was a Greek sculptor of the late 5th century BC. This sculpture of Nike (circa 420 BC) was discovered at Olympia in 1875, and is known as "Winged Victory". It has an inscription on the base that indicates it was dedicated to the people of Messenia and Naupactus after a victory in an unnamed conflict, possibly the battle against the Spartans.
East Pediment at the Temple of Zeus
Construction began around 572 BC by the Elean Libo and completed about 450 BC. It depicted the chariot race between Pelops and Oenomaos, with Zeus standing between the two teams. This depicts the moment before the race when Oenamaos announces the rules and the two contestants swear an oath. It was designed by Paeonios. The statues on the East Pediment are said to be: River God Alpheus, Charioteer, Chariot Boy or Observer, Chariot Team, Arkas or a Chariot Boy, Sterope or Hippodameia, Pelops, Zeus, Oenomaos, Hippodameia or Sterope, Old Man, Chariot Team, Seer, Crouching Girl, River God (Kladeos)
West Pediment at the Temple of Zeus
This depicted the fight between Centaurs, who were said to be guests at the wedding of Peirithoos and the Lapithae.
Metopes - Temple of Zeus
The metopes around the exterior of the temple of Zeus were left blank, but those within the two porticos of the temple were decorated with the Labors of Herakles. It was felt he was a good subject for the temple decoration since he was the son of Zeus and great-grandson of Pelops, the founder of the Olympic Games.