This Greek seaside town is the gateway to the ruins of Olympia, where the ancient games began in 776 BC, and continued for over 1000 years, until they were outlawed as a pagan festival, after Rome officially adopted Christianity as the only legitimate imperial religion. The complex is made up of temples, workshops, and the training structures that have given us the word we still use today to describe such facilities – gymnasium. The games did not recommence until 1896, but their ancient roots are acknowledged when the modern Olympic flame is lit here every four years, before beginning its long journey to the host nation.
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