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Photo of the week: Nemea

The Nemean games, held every two years, were not unlike the Olympic ones. They were also centered around another temple of Zeus, in another fertile valley, the valley of Nemea. Famous for its wine since antiquity, the area is renowned for its dark red wines to this day.

The temple of Nemeian Zeus, Nemea, Greece

The temple of Nemeian Zeus, Nemea, Greece

Only a few columns still stand from the Temple of Nemeian Zeus,built at the time of Alexander the Great’s reign,  probably around 330 BCE. Its columns (much too slender for a temple of the doric order) place it right at the cusp of the classical era heralding the Hellenistic one, when such departures from established practice became the norm rather than the exception.

As befits a site devoted to sport, the area was dotted with structures for athletes and visitors, such as accomodation facilities and public baths. The heart of the games beat in the stadium, of course, whose entrance is through a tunnel – the earliest example of vaulted construction in Greece, still bearing ancient graffiti on its walls.

There is more to Nemea than this short paragraph and picture. I promise a second post as soon as I can.

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