Inside the sacred area of the Altis, north of the Philippeion and northeast of the Heraion lie the ruins of the Prytaneion. It is the first building the visitor meets as soon as one enters the site. Built in the Classical period, it functioned as the seat of the Prytaneis. They were members of the priesthood and responsible for the general running of the sanctuary and the regular sacrifices to the altars. The undying flame of Hestia burnt inside the building while cooking areas existed as well for the preparation of the banquets in honour of the Olympic victors, that took place there. Initially, the building was small but it expanded sufficiently with gradual restorations and additions.