August 02, 2018
Mount Olympus, Greece’s highest mountain, is celebrated in today’s Google doodle. Here is everything you need to know about the mythical peaks and the heroic climbers who conquered them.
Mount Olympus: Google doodle celebrates Greeces Mount Olympus and its heroic climbers
Today marks the 87th anniversary of the first climbers to reach Mount Olympus’s highest peak, hence this morning’s Google doodle.
Since that date, it is thought about 10,000 hikers visit the mountain each year but most of them don’t venture all the way to the summit.
The 2,917 metre-high mountain is famed for its place in Greek mythology and fables.
It is a fascinating site of archaeological evidence, giving an insight into the Ancient Greek gods and the folklore surrounding them.

Mount Olympus mythology
In Ancient Greek mythology and religion, Olympus was the home of the Twelve Olympian gods.
These twelve gods were: Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Demeter, Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Ares, Aphrodite, Hephaestus, Hermes, and either Hestia or Dionysus.
The gods were said to live upon the lofty mountaintops, with king of the gods Zeus controlling the sky, thunder and lightning from his seat at Olympus’s summit.
Today, large regions of the mountain range are declared archaeological sites for the preservation of the monuments dedicated to the gods.
Excavations began in 1928 and revealed precious findings of the Macedonian, Hellenistic and Roman periods.
Mount Olympus: Google doodle celebrates Greeces Mount Olympus and its heroic climbers
Climbing expeditions
In the modern era, a series of explorers have attempted to tackle Mount Olympus’s peaks.
One example is German engineer Edward Richter, who was battling his way to the summit when he was abducted by insurgents and killed.
One year after Greece’s liberation from Ottoman rule, on August 2, 1913, the summit was finally conquered.
The Swiss Frédéric Boissonnas and Daniel Baud-Bovy, aided by a hunter of wild goats Christos Kakkalos, were the first to reach Greece's highest peak, Mytikas (meaning ‘nose’).
In fact, Kakkalos, familiar with every corner of the mountain, was the first of the three to make it up, making him the first man in history to do.
He remained the official guide to Mount Olympus until his death in 1976.
Mount Olympus: Google doodle celebrates Greeces Mount Olympus and its heroic climbers
Olympus’s unique biodiversity
Olympus is known for its exceptional biodiversity, with 52 peaks and several deep gorges.
The entire Olympus area covers about 500 square kilometres, in a circular area with a circumference of 80km.
The area contains 32 species of mammals, 108 species of birds, many species of reptiles, amphibians and insects.
In ancient times, lions and bears roamed the foothills but these have now all disappeared.
Nowadays, you’re more likely to catch a glimpse of a red fox or one of the many varieties of butterflies that call Olympus home.
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