The Peloponnese is a peninsula in southern Greece that covers an area of some 21,549.6 square kilometres (8,320.3 sq mi) and constitutes the southernmost part of mainland Greece. While technically it may be considered an island since the construction of the Corinth Canal in 1893, like other peninsulas that have been separated from their mainland by man-made bodies of waters, it is rarely, if ever, referred to as an “island”. It has two land connections with the rest of Greece, a natural one at the Isthmus of Corinth, and an artificial one by the Rio-Antirio bridge (completed 2004). During the late Middle Ages and the Ottoman era, the peninsula was known as the Morea name still in colloquial use in its demotic form. It was here that the Greek War of Independence began in 1821.
In the museum, artifacts from the sanctuary of Olympian Zeus are on display, unearthed in over a century of excavation. You will view two rich pediments from the Temple of Zeus, the long triangular groups that appeared just below the peaked roof, depicting scenes commemorating Pelops’ chariot race and illustrating the mythical war between the Centaurs and the Lapiths. Moreover, you will find a unique collection of Greek sculpture, including the famous Hermes of Praxiteles, one of the masterpieces of ancient Greek art. Hermes, as Pausanias informs us, is depicted carrying the infant. Dionysos. Made from Parian marble, it stands 2,10m in height. Furthermore, Nike of Paionios will be found in the museum. The statue depicts a winged woman. Nike, cut from Parian marble, has a height of 2,15m, but with the tips of her (now broken) wings would have reached 3m.
The decline of Mycenae occurred around 1100 BC, possibly due to repeated damage from earthquakes and fires. They had managed, however, to have once been a truly great empire, which has indelibly stamped its reputation on the history not only of Greece, but the entire world.