Olympic Stadium of the First Modern Olympics

Wednesday three weeks ago in Athens, trip up Lycabettas Hill as the sun was setting, a descent in the dark, I was lost, not a clue where I was.

I ended up at Ohh Boy, asked to use their wifi.

It was only when passing Olympic Stadium of the First Modern Olympics I realised where I was.

Panathenaic Stadium, the Old Olympic Stadium in Athens Greece, hosted the first modern games in 1896.

it is the only stadium in the world built entirely of marble.

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 and had a capacity of 50,000 seats.

After the rise of Christianity in the 4th century it was largely abandoned.

The stadium 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 contested sports. It was used for various purposes in the 20th century and was once again used as an Olympic venue in 2004.

It is the finishing point for the annual Athens Classic Marathon. It is also the last venue in Greece from where the Olympic flame handover ceremony to the host nation takes place.

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