Greece’s Ministry of Culture and Sport has partnered with Microsoft to create an immersive tour of the ancient religious sanctuary of Olympia, the birthplace of the Olympic Games.
Microsoft received assistance from the Ministry of Culture and Sport to map and develop virtual representations at Olympia. The site was used to host the games in ancient Greece for nearly a thousand years and became the inspiration for the modern Olympics.
“It’s a milestone that helped us bring technology and culture and history together so we can preserve it,” said Microsoft President Brad Smith.
Interested users can visit the site remotely or in-person with an online presentation and an AR-powered mobile application. The platform recreates notable temples and competition areas virtually within the ruins. People can also visit the Olympic Museum in Athens to witness the experience through Microsoft’s mixed-reality HoloLens headsets.
“I’m absolutely thrilled that we’re able to present to the world a completely new cultural experience using technology to recreate the ancient world of Olympia,” said Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
The project was handed over to Microsoft 18 months ago, and the company subsequently began raking the entire area using drones and sensors. Microsoft also signed an agreement with the Greek government to invest up to $1 billion for building three data centers in greater Athens.