Mt. Olympus: A Palace fit for Kings

Mount Olympus is the tallest mountain in Greece, located in the Olympus Mountain range. Mt. Olympus has 52 peaks. The highest peak, Mytikas, according to Greek mythology, was the home of the gods.


Olympus, according to legend, began with twelve Greek gods. Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Demeter, Athena, Ares, Aphrodite, Hephaestus, Hermes and either Hestia and Dionysus. The only prominent Greek god who did not live atop Mt. Olympus was Hades, god of the underworld.



Scene from Disney's "Hercules" (1997)


The gods gained supremacy when Zeus and his siblings waged war over the previous generation of rulers, known as the Titans. Legend says that this war lasted ten years.


Mist is said to have always been surrounding the mountain, and thus clouds obscured from human eye the home of the gods, giving a sense of privacy and secrecy. The clouds that cover Olympus from the sight of mortals may be one origin of the Christian description of Heaven.


Actually, the peaks of Mount Olympus are in reality quite dry. But according to Greek mythology, it was believed that the gorges of the mountains contained lush forests, and a temperate climate all year round.



Scene from Disney's "Hercules" (1997)


Although the Olympian gods resided in Mt, Olympus, they could leave through a gate of clouds guarded by Horae, goddess of the seasons.


Zeus' throne sat in the Pantheon, meeting hall of the gods. Each god had their own palace on the mountain.


The nine Greek muses (daughters of Zeus) resided at the foot of the mountain.


Daily, the gods would gather to Zeus' Pantheon, hold a feast and discuss the fate of mortals. No human was ever allowed under any condition.



Scene from Disney's "Hercules" (1997)


At Olympus, the gods feasted on ambrosia and drank nectar, both which apparently contributed to their immortality.


Even though Greek mythology portrayed Olympus as a garden, Eden-like paradise, with the perfect temperature all year round, a Pantheon and palaces and home of the gods, the barren rock of the actual mountain today attracts hikers and tourists, who are reminded of the iron-clad myth and legend of Zeus' kingdom.

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