The history of Katakolon Port
Katakolon is a small Greek town with a population that is just over 600 people. It is a town overlooking the Ionian Sea, located on a peninsula on western Ilia in Pyrgos. Katakolon Port is the gateway to Olympia and has a lighthouse in the southwest that was opened in 1865.
Katakolon has been a port town for a long time and its glory days were in the end of the 19th to the mid 20thcentury. Construction of the port was entirely funded by the local Pyrgos authorities and it was built to facilitate the transportation of goods to all other major ports in Europe.
In 1881 the Pyrgos- Katakolon rail link was completed - ten years before the Greek state railway line linking Athens to Lamia was constructed. The old Katakolon can still be seen thanks to the presence of the old warehouse buildings along its back streets, some of which have been nicely restored to preserve the history of Katakolon Port.
Olympia is one of the most important and renowned places in traditional Greece. This is where the ancient Greeks honored their god Zeus with athletic challenges called the Olympics. It is the place where the Olympic Games originated back in 776BC and were repeated every four years.
At their inception the Olympic Games included very few disciplines characterized by loyalty and courage and all competitors had to be Greek. These games only lasted for a day but the ceremony held after the games lasted for a few weeks.
The ceremony was strictly attended by men and the only women allowed to attend were the Hera priestesses and the breaking of this rule was punishable by death. Winners were awarded by means of a public triumph; they were also included in a golden register that was engraved on a stone and had life-size statues of themselves erected. The Olympic Games were stopped in 393 AD after being held for over 1200 years. They were however started again in Athens in 1896.
Olympia has for a long time been the main attraction of Katakolon. There are different buildings making up the Olympic complex that have been built, destroyed, and rebuilt so many times throughout the centuries. This is evident from the many different architectural styles that have been used.
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