Security was tight as the Olympic torch was lit in Greece beside the Temple of Hera before beginning its journey to Beijing in time for the August games.
The flame was ignited using the sun's rays concentrated in a parabolic mirror, despite fears that the weather would not be good enough.
Greek actresses dressed in the costumes of priestesses from ancient Olympia, where the Olympics began in 776BC.
Thousands of miles away in China, the ceremony was watched live on giant screens, such as this one in Beijing.
But the Greek ceremony could not escape concerns about the violence in Tibet and protestors briefly disrupt the event.
This protestor is led away by Greek police as Liu Qi, left, president of the Beijing organising committee, speaks ahead of the torch lighting.