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Prefecture of Ilia

The prefecture of Elia is one of the major farming districts of the region. Lake Pinios , provides water to the surrounding area, and is the largest man made lake in the Peloponnese .

Pirgos

Capital of the province Eleia is an agricultural and trading centre known for its neoclassical buildings. During the evening the locals stroll to the main square, to sit in the cafes, tavernas which line the square to take a drink or two and exchange gossip.

Olympia .

Lying between the rivers Alphios and Kladeos, stands ancient Olympia . Legend has it that the games started in 1000 BC, and were dedicated to Hippodameia, the daughter of King Oinomaus on her marriage to Pelops. In 776 BC the games were rededicated to Zeus. This date marks the first Olympiad, and afterwards the games were held every four years, athletes came from all the Greek city-states to compete. The games at the time held not only athletic games but artistic and literary competitions These games were stopped in 393AD, and it was not until the 1896, that the Frenchman Pier de Coubertin revived the games in Olympia, and since then every four years a torch bearer sets out from Olympia, carrying the flame around the world to where the games are to be held.

There are many archaeological sites around Olympia from these earlier games; standing in the shade near Nero’s house is the monument containing the heart of Pier de Coubetin, the founder of the Modern Olympics. The Archaeological Museum of Olympia has many fine exhibits; nearby in the modern village of Olympia lies the Museum of the Olympic Games, it has exhibits connected to the history of the Olympic Games.

Andritsena: this small village with its tavernas and shops is so relaxed that modern life has hardly touched it. The market in morning, and the locals sitting outside one of the cafes, drinking coffee and playing backgammon, reinforces this impression. The small museum has on display of local crafts and costumes.

The Temple of Vasses : situated at a height of 1200m is one of Greece ’s most remote temples, the drive up here is breathtaking. The temple built in 420 BC in honour of Apollo Epicuras (the Helper), by the residents of the nearby village of Figalia , when they were spared the ravages of the plague. The temple is undergoing a much-needed restoration and for the time being it covered by a huge tent to prevent further deterioration by the elements.

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