Olympia & Ancient Olympia are on the western part of the Peloponnese peninsula. The ancient city was a major pan-hellenic religious sanctuary. The ancient Olympic games were held here every four years, throughout classical antiquity, from the 8th century BC to the 4th century AD.

The games were restored on a global basis in 1894, with the first modern Olympic games taking place in Athens, in honour of the ideal of peaceful international contention for excellence. All winners got an olive wreath, as their prize. This tradition continues to today, and the olive tree is considered a symbol of peace.

The sacred precinct was dedicated to Zeus. The games conducted in his name drew visitors from all over the Greek world, which helped to build the identity of the ancient Greeks as a nation. During the Olympic games all wars between Greek city-states were paused.

Despite the name, it is nowhere near Mount Olympus in northern Greece, where the Twelve Olympian Gods from Ancient Greek religion, were believed to live.