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Why were the buildings at the Sanctuary so important?

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Why Were the Buildings in the Sanctuary at Olympia So Important? The Sanctuary at Olympia, also known as Altis, stands in what is modern day Peloponnese, Greece. It is host to a variety of unordered buildings that were constructed over many ages. It is located at the foot of Mount Cronion, which was once a forest with the Altar of Zeus concealed inside, but now is Olympia. Situated here were the Temple of Zeus, the Temple of Hera, the hippodrome, the stadium, as well as a selection of treasuries from different states across the country. There were two temples at the Sanctuary in Olympia: Temple of Zeus, and the Temple of Hera. The temple of Zeus is by far the largest and most important building in the Altis, and sat directly in the centre of it. It was an important symbol of victory as it has been linked to the Spartan's victory at Tanagra, and was supposedly constructed using the spoils of the Triphylian war. Only after it was built was it dedicated to Zeus. However, when Theodosius II discontinued the Olympic Games in 46AD, he saw no need for it, so had it burnt. ...read more.


The workshop of Pheidias would have stood close to the Temple of Zeus at the Sanctuary. It was significant because it is Pheidias, the universally renowned sculptor, architect and painter, who crafted the Parthenon and also the statue of Zeus which stood in the Temple of Zeus at the Sanctuary. This statue was made of ivory and gold, and was named one of the Seven Wonders of the World by Antipater of Sidon. Evidence that the building that was excavated in the 1950s is Pheidias' workshop included sculptors' tools and a small black wine jug with 'Pheidio eimi' written on it, meaning 'I belong to Pheidias'. The importance of the political side of the Sanctuary was proven by Philip II of Macedon after he dedicated the Philippieion to Zeus after his victory at Chaironeia in 338BC. This was the only round building in the Sanctuary. The building was also used to then worship the royal family of Macedon once they had died. In addition, the Zanes played an essential role in the Sanctuary. The Zanes were a row of 12 bronze statues that lined the outside of the stadium. ...read more.


Regarding the Olympic Games, the most important buildings were the stadium, the gymnasium and the palaestra. The stadium was twice as important as the other training grounds because women practicing for the Heraian Games also trained there. The gymnasium was a place where athletes competing in public games could go to train, but to also engage in intellectual conversation and social activities. Athletes trained naked as a tribute to their bodies and to the gods. As part of the gymnasium, the palaestra was built specifically to train for boxing, wrestling and jumping. It was made easier for athletes by the sand that was put on the floor for gripping purposes. In conclusion, the buildings at the Sanctuary in Olympia were so important because they provided opportunities and training for athletes, religious ceremonies and bathing. It was important to sustain a variety of buildings which offered a number of activities, so that people could honour the gods and learn from others' mistakes. Without the buildings at the Sanctuary in Olympia, there would have been no Olympic Games because the officials and high priests would have had nowhere to go, and more importantly, the athletes would have had nowhere to train, or rest. ?? ?? ?? ?? Alex Jones 11be ...read more.

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