On this mountain, History blends with mythology, as Olympus is the legendary abode of the 12 ancient Greek Gods. In the summits of Mount Olympus the Olympian Gods once overthrew the Titans during the legendary Battle of the Titans ("Titanomachy") and placed their divine kingdom there. The supreme god and ruler of the kingdom was Zeus, whose throne was on the summit of the mountain, but every single one of the Olympian gods possessed his own, private palace. The Olympian Gods used to socialize during dining time, where they were taking decisions on the fate of the world and the mortals while eating ambrosia and drinking nectar.
The shape of Olympus, the polymorphous and changeable beauty of its nature, the fog covered peaks and law clouds bringing about frequent the under storms, filled people with awe and admiration from ancient times. There are recent archaeological finds that go back to the Iron Age. Prehistoric man chose to live at the foot of this glorious mountain. Inspired by its mystery he created the legends that gave birth to the Twelve Greek Gods.
The twelve gods live in ravines, “the mysterious folds of Olympus” according to Homer. They have their palaces there. Pantheon (today’s Mytikas) is their meeting place. Their tempestuous discussions are heard by the god of gods Zeus sitting on his imposing throne (today’s Stefani). From there he unlooses his thunders showing “his godly wrath”. In Iliad Olympus is described as magnificent, long, glorious and full of trees.
Also from Olympus derives the name of the Olympic Games
The Olympic Games that were held in ancient Olympia had religious significance since in honor of the Olympian god Zeus, so they got the same name the city (Olympia) and the Games (Olympic Games)
At the foot of the mountain, 5 kilometres from the sea, a sacred Macedonian city Dion is dedicated to Zeus (Dias) and is called Dion. It is estimated that it flourished between the 5th century B.C. and the 5th century A.C. Alexander the Great before starting his expedition to Asia sacrificied to the Gods asking their favor, in a feast held in Dion on the foot of Mt. Olympus/ The excavations, that started in 1928 and are still going on, revealed archaeological finds of the Macedonian, Greek and Roman Era. They are exhibited in the museum of Dion. Piblia and Livithra are two more ancient cities near Olympus and are closely related to the legend of Orpheus and the Orphic Secret ceremonies.
The history of Olympus continued being turbulent even under the Turkish occupation. The mountain was used as a hiding place for the famous “armatol” fighting the “yoke of the tyrant”. During the German invasion in 1941, the Greek army along with Australian and New Zealand units fought important battles. Later on the Greek Resistance found a nestling place there.
The whole Olympus has been declared an archaeological and historical place in order to preserve its monumental and historical physiognomy.