ANCIENT SPORTS STADIUM OF NEMEA - Ancient Nemea

Updated: Oct 19, 2021

Ancient Sports Stadium of Nemea - Ancient Nemea

I present to you the ancient sports stadium built in Nemea during the end of the 4th century BC (approx. 330 BC).


By Alexios Demos on March 24, 2020
Ancient Nemea Stadium Vauled Tunnel Entrance Nemean Games
Vaulted Tunnel Entrance | Ancient Sports Stadium of Nemea | © Copyright 2021 Alexios Demos

Indicative Information | Tickets Full: €6, Reduced: €3 | Visiting Times Summer: 08:00 -20:00 | EO Sidirodromikou Stathmou Nemeas 24, Nemea (Prefecture of Korinthia) Postcode: 20500 | More info call +302746024303 / 2746024303

What is more fascinating is that the architects had planned for a vaulted tunnel running under a hill whose purpose was for athletes and judges to enter the stadium at its center (making quite a grand entrance might I add!).

“In its heyday, the stadium could accommodate an impressive 40.000 spectators and was used in the Panhellenic Games which were held every two years.”

The stadium is interesting from an architectural standpoint for a variety of reasons including that at its perimeter there was a water channel with stone basins that spectators could use for drinking water while enjoying the races.


Ancient Nemea Stadium Locker Room Nemean Games
Athlete Locker Room | Ancient Sports Stadium of Nemea | © Copyright 2021 Alexios Demos

Ancient Sports Stadium of Nemea - Ancient Nemea

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I present to you the ancient sports stadium built in Nemea during the end of the 4th century BC (approx. 330 BC). The site is situated 400 m southeast of the Temple of the Nemean Zeus, but I would suggest you drive between the two sites. In its heyday, the stadium could accommodate an impressive 40.000 spectators and was used in the Panhellenic Games which were held every two years. The Panhellenic Games were comprised of 4 separate festivals in different locations one of the locations was Olympia i.e. the Olympic Games! Unfortunately for the Nemeans by 270 BC the 178 m long track field no longer held the Nemean Games that were transferred to Argos.

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The stadium is interesting from an architectural standpoint for a variety of reasons including that at its perimeter there was a water channel with stone basins that spectators could use for drinking water while enjoying the races. What is more fascinating is that the architects had planned for a vaulted tunnel running under a hill whose purpose was for athletes and judges to enter the stadium at its center (making quite a grand entrance might I add!). The tunnel connected the stadium with an internal colonnade structure located on the western portion of the site that most likely functioned as a changing room for athletes.

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Around the site there are vineyards and close to the entrance, there are beautiful views of the mountains that on this visit were snowy. Geographically ancient Nemea is an especially mild weathered region making it an especially pleasant day trip from Athens even in winter. The site has very few signs and feels totally untouched making one more easily teleport mentally to ancient times. Even though the stadium follows the standard dimensions of ancient stadiums (600 ft long) to me it felt quite monumental yet classically graceful nonetheless.

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Date of Visit: Jan 10, 2020 Weather Conditions: Noon visit on a wonderful winter Friday – The climate in Nemea (357m above sea level) and the mountainous landscape creates the perfect “pocket” for cultivating grapes. Today many producers create excellent robust red wine based on the Greek grape variety "Agiorgitiko"

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Ancient Nemea Stadium Snowy Mountain View Nemean Games
Stunning Winter Views from the Site | Ancient Sports Stadium of Nemea | © Copyright 2021 Alexios Demos
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