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Mount Olympus

Mount Olympus

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Mount Olympus is the highest mountain
Mountain
Image:Himalaya_annotated.jpg|thumb|right|The Himalayan mountain range with Mount Everestrect 58 14 160 49 Chomo Lonzorect 200 28 335 52 Makalurect 378 24 566 45 Mount Everestrect 188 581 920 656 Tibetan Plateaurect 250 406 340 427 Rong River...

 in Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

, located on the border between Thessaly
Thessaly
Thessaly is a traditional geographical region and an administrative region of Greece, comprising most of the ancient region of the same name. Before the Greek Dark Ages, Thessaly was known as Aeolia, and appears thus in Homer's Odyssey....

 and Macedonia
Macedonia (Greece)
Macedonia is a geographical and historical region of Greece in Southern Europe. Macedonia is the largest and second most populous Greek region...

, about 100 kilometres (62 mi) away from Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki , historically also known as Thessalonica, Salonika or Salonica, is the second-largest city in Greece and the capital of the region of Central Macedonia as well as the capital of the Decentralized Administration of Macedonia and Thrace...

, Greece's second largest city. Mount Olympus has 52 peaks. The highest peak Mytikas, meaning "nose", rises to 2,917 metres (9,570 ft). It is one of the highest peaks in Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 in terms of topographic prominence
Topographic prominence
In topography, prominence, also known as autonomous height, relative height, shoulder drop , or prime factor , categorizes the height of the mountain's or hill's summit by the elevation between it and the lowest contour line encircling it and no higher summit...

.

Mount Olympus is noted for its very rich flora with several species. It is a National Park
National park
A national park is a reserve of natural, semi-natural, or developed land that a sovereign state declares or owns. Although individual nations designate their own national parks differently A national park is a reserve of natural, semi-natural, or developed land that a sovereign state declares or...

 of Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 and a World's Biosphere Reserve.

The abode of the gods


In Greek mythology
Greek mythology
Greek mythology is the body of myths and legends belonging to the ancient Greeks, concerning their gods and heroes, the nature of the world, and the origins and significance of their own cult and ritual practices. They were a part of religion in ancient Greece...

 Olympus was regarded as the "home" of the Twelve Olympian gods
Twelve Olympians
The Twelve Olympians, also known as the Dodekatheon , in Greek mythology, were the principal deities of the Greek pantheon, residing atop Mount Olympus. Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Demeter, Hestia, and Hades were siblings. Ares, Hermes, Hephaestus, Athena, Apollo, and Artemis were children of Zeus...

 of the ancient Greek world. It formed itself after the gods defeated the titans in the Titan War, and soon the palace was inhabited by the gods. It is the setting of many Greek mythical stories. Olympus was not shaken by winds nor ever wet with rain, nor did snow fall upon it, but the air is outspread clear and cloudless, and over it hovered a radiant whiteness.

Climbing


Climbing Mount Olympus is a non-technical hike, except for the final section from Skala summit to Mitikas summit, which is YDS
Yosemite Decimal System
The Yosemite Decimal System is a three-part system used for rating the difficulty of walks, hikes, and climbs. It is primarily used by mountaineers in the United States and Canada. The Class 5 portion of the Class scale is primarily a rock climbing classification system. Originally the system was...

 class 3 rock scramble
Scrambling
Scrambling is a method of ascending rocky faces and ridges. It is an ambiguous term that lies somewhere between hillwalking and rock climbing. It is often distinguished from hillwalking by defining a scramble as a route where hands must be used in the ascent...

. It is estimated that 10,000 people climb Mount Olympus each year, most of them reaching only the Skolio summit.

Most climbs to Mount Olympus start from the town of Litochoro
Litochoro
Litochoro is a town and a former municipality in the southern part of the Pieria regional unit, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Dio-Olympos, of which it is the seat and a municipal unit. It is located at the base of Mount Olympus, on the western shore...

, which took the name City of Gods because of its location on the roots of the mountain. A local from Litochoro, Christos Kakalos, became the first to reach the Mitikas summit on 2 August 1913. From there a road goes to Prionia, where the hike begins at the bottom of the mountain.

Coin


Mount Olympus and the national Park around it were selected as the main motif for the Greek National Park Olympus commemorative coin, minted in 2005. On the reverse, the War of the Titans
Titanomachy
In Greek mythology, the Titanomachy or War of the Titans , was the ten-year series of battles fought in Thessaly between the two camps of deities long before the existence of mankind: the Titans, based on Mount Othrys, and the Olympians, who would come to reign on Mount Olympus...

on Mount Olympus is portrayed along with flowering branches on the lower part of the coin. Above the scene is written, in Greek, "National Park Olympus".

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