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Introducing You to the Glorious Kallimarmaro Stadium

Near the National Garden, the Mansion of Zappeion and the river Ilissos, within walking distance from the center of Athens, lies one of the most important open stadiums in Greek History that hosted the first modern Olympic Games in 1896. This stadium is well known as Panathenaic or Kallimarmaro stadium.

It was made of marble coming from Mount Penteli, a very fine marble that is called marmaro in Greek. This is where its name was taken from, named as Kallimarmaro in order to depict the beauty of the marble used for its construction. Many ancient temples have also been made of this precious material, such as the Parthenon of Acropolis.

At first, the construction in ancient times was made so that all citizens of Athens could participate in Panathenaia, in the honor of the ancient Goddess Athena. Later on, Herodes Atticus in 140ad to 144ad gave the final shape of the stadium. Through the Medieval times, all marble was removed and replaced by wood.

Kallimarmaro stadium used to be a hippodrome and later on an arena during the Roman times. In 1870, after the excavations that took place in the area, Panathenaic Stadium was found. The architecture of Kallimarmaro stadium remained as it was, thus it is an original ancient Greek stadium. The capacity of the stadium was over 50,000 and the renovation made gave birth to the idea of reviving the Olympic Games. The stadium hosted 80,000 spectators during the first modern Olympic Games.

Marathon was not included as an Olympic Game until the moment when the organizers of the institution added Marathon in the honor of the ancient messenger Pheidippides, who covered 42.5 km from Marathon to bring the good news to Athenians that they won the battle against Persians.

The starting point of the Olympic Flame came from Kallimarmaro Stadium to spread the message of peace among nations all over the world in 2012, when it was given to Princess Anna for the Olympic Games in London.

Many cultural events have taken place in this elegant and glorious stadium in the past, such as Opera Aida. In modern times, famous artists of all music genres have been welcomed in the Stadium, such as Placido Domingo, Depeche Mode, The Stranglers etc. So it is definitely worth visiting this glorious monument in the center of Athens!
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