The Panathenaic Stadium also known as Kallimarmaro (beautiful marble) is a multi-purpose stadium in Athens, Greece. One of the main attractions of Athens, it is the only stadium in the world built entirely of marble.
The Panathenaic Stadium is a classical cultural and touristic monument of Greece and one of the most significant monuments not only for Athens, but for the whole Greece.It is one of our city’s most popular touristic attractions and one of Athens’ landmarks.
Its rich history is directly connected to the Modern Olympic Games as from their revival in 1896 until the Athens Olympic Games in 2004. It is also the place from where the Olympic flame sets up its journey to the cities of the Olympic Games, both Winter, Summer and Youth.
A stadium was built on the site of a simple racecourse by the Athenian statesman Lykourgos (Lycurgus) c. 330 BC, primarily for the Panathenaic Games. It was rebuilt in marble by Herodes Atticus, an Athenian Roman senator, by 144 AD. It had a capacity of 50,000 seats. After the rise of Christianity in the 4th century it was abandoned, until the 19th century. It was excavated in 1869 and hosted the Zappas Olympics in 1870 and 1875. After being refurbished, it hosted the opening and closing ceremonies of the first modern Olympics in 1896 and was the venue for 4 of the 9 sports.
The first modern Olympic Games commenced on 25 March and concluded on 3 April, and were a resounding success. The victor in the Marathon race, the most popular contest, was the Greek Spyros Louis. It was in the Panathenaic Stadium that the Olympic Hymn was heard for the first time. Throughout the twentieth century the Panathenaic Stadium hosted diverse events, among them pan-Hellenic and international games.
In the Athens 2004 Olympic Games it experienced moments of suspense and emotion during the archery contests and as the finishing line of the Marathon race. A creation of the Athenians, as its name proudly proclaims, the Panathenaic Stadium has been the venue for noble competition and fair play, of mind and of body, since Antiquity.