As the birthplace of the Olympics, Olympia holds a special place in history. From around 776BC, the Olympics were held here every four years for over 1100 years. If there was a war going on then a truce was declared for the Olympics. Sometimes leaders of the opposing sides would use the time of the Olympic Truce to settle their disputes. Slaves and women were not allowed to be spectators and women caught sneaking in were thrown off a cliff.
The Olympics were not just athletic contests but also a venue for writing, poetry and history readings. The site was a religious sanctuary and while many of the buildings were devoted to the housing of athletes and officials and training facilities, an equal proportion of space was devoted to honouring the gods, particularly Zeus and Hera.