Nemea

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Nemea is located 41 km from Korinthos and is close to the limits of Argolis region. This municipality is surrounded by an abundance of grapevines, which have given Nemea fame for the good wine they produce. Nemea is the most important red wine AOC of southern Greece and arguably of all of Greece. In Nemea, the indigenous Greek Agiorgitiko grape is used and produces wines famous for their deep red color, complex aroma and long, velvety palate

Even in ancient times, Nemea was renowned as being the place in Greek Mythology where Hercules killed the fearful lion. In the archaeological site of Nemea the most notable building is the temple of Zeus, the archaeological digs (which are still going on) have brought to light baths and arenas, a stadium and foundations of other buildings.

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In 573 BC the Nemea games were established as a Pan-Hellenic festival. They were held every two years at Nemea, which lies in the low eastern hills of the Arcadian mountains. The games were under the control of Kleonai and from the end of the fifth century BC onwards of Argos. According to the earliest myth, the foundation of the Nemea games goes back to the funeral games organized by the Seven Against Thebes in honour of the dead Opheltes. According to a later version, they were founded by Hercules to show his gratitude to the gods for helping him to kill the Nemea Lion.

Systematic archaeological excavations have uncovered a large part of the sanctuary of Zeus and the stadium which was built towards the end of the 4th century BC, lies to the south-east of the temple. It was 600 feet in length and one of its ends was curved. Important remains of the Stadium’s starting block and its starting mechanism were found when the track was excavated. An important part of the Stadium was its hidden entrance, a vaulted underground tunnel through which athletes coming from the temple of Zeus entered the Stadium.

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The temple of Zeus, erected in 330BC at the center of the sanctuary, is one of the earliest ancient buildings in which all three architectural orders were applied: the outer colonnade is Doric, while the inner has Corinthian and Ionic columns in two levels. The underground crypt at the back of the cella is unique in Greek architecture.

Since 1996 history was made and lived. The Nemea Games were born again and relive every two years.

ESPA