One of the most important archaeological museums in Greece. It hosts in its collection artefacts from the sanctuary of Olympian Zeus, in Olympia, where the ancient Olympic Games were born and hosted.
The new museum was constructed in 1975, and eventually opened in 1982, re-exhibiting its treasures. The architect of the museum was Patrocolos Karadinos.
Its collections contain:
A collection of terracottas (prehistoric, Archaic and Classical periods).
A collection of bronzes.
A collection of sculptures (Archaic upto the Roman periods).
A collection from the Olympic Games
Among the most important exhibits of the museum are:
The sculptured ornaments from the Temple of Zeus.
There were 42 figures decorating the 2 pediments of the temple, 12 metopes and the lion-headed water spouts running along the lengths of the temple. It is one of the best surviving ensembles from ancient Greek works of art. They belong to the "austere style" and date to the 1st half of the 5th century B.C.
The eastern pediment depicts the chariot race between Pelops and Oinomaos, and the central figure which dominates the work is of Zeus. The western pediment depicts the abduction of the Lapith women by Centaurs, and has Apollo as its central figure. The metopes bear the relief representation of Hercules' labours. These sculptures were made during the 5th century B.C.
Hermes of Praxiteles
One of the masterpieces of ancient Greek art. Hermes, as Pausanias informs us, is depicted carrying the infant Dionysos. Made from Parian marble it stands 2,10m in height. It is thought to be an original of the great sculptor and it is dated to ca. 330 B.C.
Nike of Paionios
The statue depicts a winged woman. An inscription on the base states that the statue was dedicated by the Messenians and the Naupactians for their victory against the Lacedaemonians (Spartans), in the Archidamian (Peloponnesian) war prabably in 421 B.C. It is the work of the sculptor Paionios of Mende in Chalkidiki, who also made the acroteria of the Temple of Zeus.
Nike, cut from Parian marble, has a height of 2,115m, but with the tips of her (now broken) wings would have reached 3m. In its completed form, the monument with its triangular base (8,81m high) would have stood at the height of 10,92m. giving the impression of Nike triumphantly descending from Olympos. It dates from 421 B.C.
Zeus and Ganymedes
A terracotta statuette depicting Zeus carrying off young Ganymedes. Probably an acroterion of a temple, dated to 480-470 B.C.
Bronze breast-plate with incised decoration.
On its lower part there is an engraved scene of Zeus and Apollo with his 'kithara', while other figures are also represented. Probably the work of an island bronze-smith around the dates of 650-625 B.C.
Museum number M394.
The Helmet of Miltiades
Dedication by Miltiades, as the inscription informs us "Miltiades dedicates to Zeus". It is the same helmet worn by the Athenian general in the battle of Marathon, where he defeated the Persians, and thus offered it to Zeus as a sign of gratitude.
The only surviving besieging instrument of its kind from Antiquity. On all sides of the battering-ram there are symbolic depictions of rams heads, from where indeed it got its name. 5th century B.C.
Museum number B2360.
It is dated in the transition between the Geometric to the Archaic period. It is unique for its monumentality on comparison with the small scale of other artefacts from the Geometric period.
Museum number B1741.
Museum Telephone +30-26240-22.529
Full admission: euro 6
Reduced admission (students from countries outside the E.U., citizens of the E.U. aged over 65): euro 3
Ticket for both museum and site: euro 9
Reduced admission for both museum and site: euro 5
- persons under 18
- university students from Greece and the E.U.
- students of Classical Studies or Fine Arts from countries outside the E.U.
- members of the ICOM-ICOMOS
- tour guides
- persons possessing a free admission card
Days of free admission for all visitors:
Sundays in the period between 1 November and 31 March
the first Sunday of every month, except for July, August and September (when the first Sunday is holiday, then the second is the free admission day, etc.)
- 6 March (in memory of Melina Mercouri)
-18 April (International Monuments Day)
-18 May (International Museums Day)
- 5 June (International Environment Day)
- the last weekend of September every year (European Heritage Days)
Summer Opening Hours: From 15 of June until 31 October 2007
Holidays: 15 August, 28 October: 08.00-19.00
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