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Entry Arch at the Ancient Olympic Stadium

Entry Arch at the Ancient Olympic Stadium Ancient Places and/or Civilizations Famous Historical Events Geography Government

In this view, of the passageway entrance into the Ancient-Olympic Stadium, we are looking east.

Judith Swaddling tells us more about this entrance tunnel in her book, The Ancient Olympic Games:

The embankment at the west end of the stadium at Olympia required the construction of an entrance tunnel leading into the stadium from the Altis.

This tunnel, which was 32 metres long with a vaulted roof, was the earliest example of such a structure in classical Greece.  It was reserved for the use of judges and contestants only, and the western end of the tunnel could be closed by bronze trellis gates.

The emergence into the stadium of the grand procession was a highlight of the festival.  The tunnel was so well hidden beneath the earth embankment that Pausanias calls it the "Secret Entrance."  Here the eager, anxious athletes must have waited to be summoned into the stadium for their particular contest.

The view, in this image, is looking east into the stadium.  (Swaddling, at page 31.)

Click on the image for an expanded view.


Media Credits

Image online, courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

 

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