The West Greece administrative region is made up of the north-western part of the Peloponnese peninsula and the western half of central, continental Greece. The regional units that make up West Greece are: Achaea, Aetolia-Acarnania and Elis. The administrative capital is Patras.
Olympia is the site of an ancient sanctuary, and it was here in the 8th century BC that the Olympic games were first held; and again every four years until the 4th century AD. Numerous buildings relating to various aspects of the games and the worship of gods from the Archaic period to the Roman period make for a large and interesting ancient site for visitors. Besides the various ancient sites of interest there is also a monument to Pierre de Coubertin – the founder of the modern Olympic Games.
The castle was built in 551 following a devastating earthquake, and remained in constant use until the second World War. The first structure was constructed using the remains of Classical period buildings. One of the stone pieces re-used is the bust of a Roman statue, now said to be a ‘maiden’ that guards the city against disease. Today the castle is used for cultural events throughout the summer. There is public access to the castle, free of charge.