THE GEOLOGICAL EVOLUTION OF OLYMPOS
Olympos is relatively newly formed mountain. It is a rather small mountain with a roundish shape. Before milions years ago the biggest part of Greece was lying in a shallow sea. Today´s rocky ground includes many elements that were formed there. Different geological events that followed caused the emersion of whole area.
The complex geological history of the area becomes evident from the geomorphology of the whole mountain, wide gorges, deep ravines (Mavrologos, Makrirema, Xerolaki, etc.) amphitheatrical glens (small and big Kazania, small and big Gourna, Dristeia) caves und precipices many of them are still unexplored .
The climate favours the emergence of many brooks, small seasonal lakes and small river whose springs are in the slope of Mount Olympos.
OLYMPOS - THE FIRST NATIONAL PARK
In 1938, Olympos, the highest Greek mountain, the residence of the twelve ancient gods, was the first area which was declared as a National Park. About 50 years ago a special regime was enforced to protect this unique part of Greece.
The aim was the preservation of the natural environment: of the flora, fauna and natural landscapes, as well as of its cultural and other values. Scientific research had to be supported and people had to become aware of the environmental conditions. Furthermore tourism had to be developed in the widerarea.
Specific laws prohibit any kind of exploitation in the east side of the mountain, about 10 000 acres, which constitutes the core of the National Park. The wider area around was designated as "peripheral" zone of the National Park" so that its management exploitation won´t affect negatively the protection of the core.
Today, after special studies the National Park is about to be extended to 43 000 acres. The core shall also be extended so as to include specific areas which need rigorous protection.
Olympos is internationally known for its important ecological characteristics and incomparable natural beauty as well as for its strong realtionship with ancienit Greek mythology. The importace of the National Park has been recognized not only in Greece and Europe but all over the world. In 1981 UNESCO declared "Olympos a Biosphere Reserve". The European Community has included Olympos in the list of "the Most Important Bird areas of the European Community".
The designation of Olympos as a National Park was a good beginning. Today there are ten National Parks all over the country which include an excellent variety of biotopes and a unique collection of wild life.
MYTHOLOGY - HISTORY
The shape of Olympos, the polymorphous and changeable beauty of its nature, the fog covered peaks and low clouds causing frequent storms filled people with awe and admiration since ancienit times. There are recent archeological 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 Olympos - 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 to show his godly wrath. In Iliad Olympos is described as magnificent long glorious and full of trees.
Olympian Gods and Goddesses
The most powerful of all, Zeus was god of the sky and the king of Olympos. His temper affected the weather, and he threw thunderbolts when he was unhappy. He was married to Hera but had many other lovers. His symbols include the oak and the thunderbolt
Hera was goddess of marriage and the queen of Olympos. She was Zeus's wife and sister; many myths tell of how she sought revenge when Zeus betrayed her with his lovers. Her symbols include the peacock and the cow.
Poseidon was god of the sea. He was the most powerful god except for his brother, Zeus. He lived in a beautiful palace under the sea and caused earthquakes when he was in a temper. His symbols include the horse and the trident (a three-pronged pitchfork).
Hades was king of the dead. He lived in the underworld, the heavily guarded land where he ruled over the dead. He was the brother of Zeus and the husband of Persephone, Demeter's daughter, whom he kidnapped.
Aphrodite was the goddess of love and beauty, and the protector of sailors. She may have been the daughter of Zeus and the Titan Dione, or she may have risen from the sea on a shell. Her symbols include the myrtle tree and the dove.
Apollo was the god of music and healing. He was also an archer, and hunted with a silver bow. Apollo was the son of Zeus and the Titan Leto, and the twin of Artemis. His symbols include the laurel tree, the crow, and the dolphin.
Ares was the god of war. He was both cruel and a coward. Ares was the son of Zeus and Hera, but neither of his parents liked him. His symbols include the vulture and the dog, and he often carried a bloody spear.
Artemis was the goddess of the hunt and the protector of women in childbirth. She hunted with silver arrows and loved all wild animals. Artemis was the daughter of Zeus and Leto, and the twin of Apollo. Her symbols include the cypress tree and the deer
Athena was the goddess of wisdom. She was also skilled in the art of war, and helped heroes such as Odysseus and Hercules. Athena sprang full-grown from the forehead of Zeus, and became his favorite child. Her symbols include the owl and the olive tree.
Hephaestus was the god of fire and the forge (a furnace in which metal is heated). Although he made armor and weapons for the gods, he loved peace. He was the son of Zeus and Hera and married Aphrodite. His symbols include the anvil and the forge
Hestia was the goddess of the hearth (a fireplace at the center of the home). She was the most gentle of the gods, and does not play a role in many myths. Hestia was the sister of Zeus and the oldest of the Olympians. Fire is among her symbols.
Hermes was the messenger god, a trickster, and a friend to thieves. He was said to have invented boxing and gymnastics. He was the son of Zeus and the constellation Maia. The speediest of all, he wore winged sandals and a winged hat and carried a magic wand also sometimes included
Demeter was the goddess of the harvest. The word "cereal" comes from her Roman name. She was the sister of Zeus. Her daughter, Persephone, was forced to live with Hades each winter; at this time Demeter let no crops grow. Her symbols include wheat.
Dionysus was the god of wine, which he invented. In ancient Greece Dionysus was honored with springtime festivals that centered on theater. Dionysus was the son of Zeus and Semele, a mortal. His symbols include ivy, the snake, and grapes.
This cache will lead you directly to the top of one of the highest Mt. Olympos peaks - Skala (2866 m over sea) which is also one of the most visited peaks in Olympos mountain and the crossroad to highes peak Mytikas 2918 m or Skolio 2912 m.
If you want to continue further and enjoy the ascent to Mytikas you have to climb down to the ravine between Skala and Mytikas and following the red markings ascend toward the peak. Once you reach the top don´t forget to sign to the guest book.
During your trip to Mount Olympos you will see information boards that guide you through geological evolution of Mount Olympos and lot more useful and interesting facts from its geomorphology, history, flora, fauna and mythology.
Please read them carefully to answer following questions required to log your visit:
1. What is an approximate age of Olympos mountain?
2. Describe what happened in geological evolution of Olympos mountain about 1 000 000 years ago.
3. What is the name of small Mt.Olympos river, where it springs and where is its estuary?
4. How many peaks totally whole Mountain consists of?
5. What is the name of the lowest peak and the height?
Furthermore, add 2 photographs of yourself at the peak of "Skala" 2866 m to the log according to the enclosed photo, first with "Mytikas" in the background, second one with "Skolio". Send your answers to: email@example.com with the subject "Olympos". DO NOT LOG IN BEFORE YOU GET AN APPROVAL EMAIL !.