The history of Municipality of Nemea

A trip to the past

The name of Nemea was originally Agios Georgios until 1923, because of the byzantine church with the same name. The most famous red wine variety “Agiorgitiko” was also named after it. The “Nemea” name was first mentioned on 1840, when the municipality was created, and established as the official name of the town after World War II.
Ancient Nemea was a very important place because of the famous myth of Hercules and the Nemean Lion. However, the region was also very important from 6th to 7th century B.C., because of the Nemean games, which was part of the Panhellenic Games, along with games in Delphi, Isthmos and Olympia. Since 1996 the games were relived after 2.300 years, due to the efforts of the Municipality of Nemea and of the American School of Classical Studies.
The city picked a side in every war between Athens and Sparta, while it is considered to be the last place, where Sparta won Athens.

Nemea took its name by Naiad, the daughter of Asopos river.
Ancient Nemea was a very important place because of the famous myth of Hercules and the Nemean Lion.
Σύμφωνα με το μύθο ο Ηρακλής ολοκλήρωσε το πρώτο του άθλο νικώντας το λιοντάρι , και σκοτώνοντας το με γυμνά χέρια καθώς το δέρμα του ήταν φτιαγμένο απο χρυσάφι και κανένα όπλο δεν ήταν ικανό να το διαπεράσει. Κατά την πάλη, το λιοντάρι έγδαρε τον Ηρακλή , και έτρεξε το αίμα του το οποίο έβαψε τα σταφύλια που βρίσκονταν εκεί , δίνοντας τους το χαρακτηριστικό κόκκινο χρώμα που χαρακτηρίζει και κάνει μοναδικό το Νεμεάτικο κρασί.

Nemean games was the athletic games that took place in Nemea in ancient times. These games were established on 573 B.C., as a tribute to Zeus, whose temple was located there. The stadium was 178 meters long and it could have 40.000 viewers. Nemean games, with the athletic and horse-riding games, was one of the most important games of ancient Greece after Pythian games, Olympian games and Isthmian games. At the same name, international athletic games are on after 1996 in the ancient stadium of Nemea.

In Ancient Kleones is located the famous temple of Hercules. It is an ancient temple that it was built in honor of one of the Labors of Hercules, the one against the Nemean Lion. Today it is the start of the foot race of 7.5 km, at the event of the modern Nemean Games. The race is the path that Hercules followed to fight with the lion.

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