Panathenaic Stadium

The Panathenaic Stadium (Greek: Παναθηναϊκό Στάδιο, translit. Panathinaïkó Stádio, [panaθinaiˈko sˈtaðio])[a] or Kallimarmaro (Καλλιμάρμαρο, [kaliˈmarmaro], lit. "beautiful marble")[3][4] is a multi-purpose stadium in Athens, Greece. One of the main historic attractions of Athens,[5] it is the only stadium in the world built entirely of marble.[4]

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.[3] It is also the last venue in Greece from where the Olympic flame handover ceremony to the host nation takes place.[6][7]

Panathenaic Stadium
Kallimarmaro
Kallimarmaron stadium
The stadium in April 2009
LocationAthens, Greece
Coordinates37°58′6″N 23°44′28″E / 37.96833°N 23.74111°ECoordinates: 37°58′6″N 23°44′28″E / 37.96833°N 23.74111°E
Public transitLogo of the Athens Tram (icon only).svg Athens Tram Line 4.svg Athens Tram Line 5.svg Zappio tram stop
OwnerHellenic Olympic Committee
Capacity144 AD: 50,000
1896: 80,000
current: 45,000[1]
Record attendance80,000 (AEK Athens vs Slavia Prague, 1968)
Construction
Built6th century BC (racecourse)
c. 330 BC (in limestone by Lykourgos)
c. 144 AD (in marble by Herodes Atticus)
Renovated1896
ArchitectAnastasios Metaxas (1896 renovation)

Location

The stadium is built in what was originally a natural ravine between the two hills of Agra and Ardettos,[8] south of the Ilissos river.[9][10] It is now located in the central Athens district of Pangrati, to the east of the National Gardens and the Zappeion Exhibition Hall, to the west of the Pangrati residential district and between the twin pine-covered hills of Ardettos and Agra. Up to the 1950s, the River (now covered by, and flowing underneath, Vasileos Konstantinou Avenue) ran in front of the stadium's entrance, and the spring of Kallirrhoe, the sanctuary of Pankrates (a local hero) and the Cynosarges public gymnasium were nearby.

History

Originally, since the 6th century BC, a racecourse existed at the site of the stadium. It hosted the Panathenaic Games (also known as the Great Panathenaea), a religious and athletic festival celebrated every 4 years in honour of the goddess Athena. The racecourse had no formal seating and the spectators sat on the natural slopes on the side of the ravine.[11]

Stadium of Lykourgos

In the 4th century BC the Athenian statesman Lykourgos (Lycurgus) built a 850-foot (260 m) long stadium of Poros limestone.[12] Tiers of stone benches were arranged around the track. The track was 669 feet (204 m) long and 110 feet (34 m) wide.[11] In the Lives of the Ten Orators Pseudo-Plutarch writes that a certain Deinas, the owner of the property where the stadium was built was persuaded by Lykourgos to donate the land to the city and Lykourgos leveled a ravine.[13][14] IG II² 351 (dated 329 BC), records that Eudemus of Plataea gave 1000 yoke of oxen for the construction of the stadium and theater. According to Romano the "reference to the large number of oxen, indicating a vast undertaking, and the use of the word charadra have suggested the kind of building activity that would have been needed to prepare the natural valley between the two hills near the Ilissos."[14] The stadium of Lykourgos is believed to have been completed for the Panathenaic Games of 330/329 BC.[8][15][16][17][18] Donald Kyle suggests that it is possible that Lykourgos did not built but "renovated or embellished a pre-existing facility to give it monumental stature."[19] According to Richard Ernest Wycherley the stadium probably had stone seating "only for a privileged few."[15]

Reconstruction by Herodes Atticus

1734 - Archaeological Museum, Athens - Herodes Atticus - Photo by Giovanni Dall'Orto, Nov 11 2009
Herodes Atticus rebuilt the stadium in marble by 144 AD

Herodes Atticus, an Athenian who rose to the highest echelons of power in Rome, was responsible for numerous structures in Greece. In Athens he is best known for the reconstruction of the Panathenaic Stadium.[20][b] Tobin suggests that "Herodes built the stadium soon after [his father] Atticus's death, which occurred around A.D. 138. The first Greater Panathenaia following his father's demise was 139/40, and it is probable that at that time Herodes promised the refurbishment of the stadium. According to Philostratus, it was completed four years later, which would have been in 143/4."[20] These dates (139/140-143-144 AD) are now widely cited as construction dates of the stadium of Herodes Atticus.[22][12][17] Welch writes that the stadium was completed by 143, in time for Panathenaic festival.[10]

The new stadium was built completely of ashlar masonry[23] in Pentelic marble,[11][12] using minimal concrete.[23] The stadium was built at a time of resurgence of Greek culture in the mid-2nd century. Although the stadium was a "quintessentially Greek architectural type",[10] it was "Roman in scale" with a massive capacity of 50,000,[15] which is roughly the same as that of the Stadium of Domitian in Rome.[23] Stadia of the Classical and Hellenistic periods were smaller.[23][8] According to Welch there is a possibility that criminals were executed in the stadium, however, no evidence exists.[24]

Herodes Atticus built it as "an architectural means of self-representation, and it did something analogous. The architecture of the building makes allusions to the Classical past while remaining unmistakably modern. It is Roman in scale, but it self-consciously rejects the distinguishingly Roman features of monumental facade and extensive vaulting."[23] Its cavea was decorated with owls in relief, which symbolize Athena.[23] Katherine Welch wrote in a 1998 article "Greek stadia and Roman spectacles":[25]

Though traditional in building materials and construction technique, the track included modern features that were specifically designed to accommodate Roman entertainments. [...]

It may thus be argued that the Panathenaic Stadium of Herodes Atticus, who was both Athens' leading son and a Roman consul, represents a middle ground between two conflicting cultural expectations. Its architectural for was self-consciously old-fashioned, yet in scale and function the building was thoroughly modern. Herodes Atticus built a new Panathenaic Stadium whose architecture reflected the prevailing nostalgia for Classical Greece but whose functions reflected the new realities of Roman power. While the building continued to be used chiefly for athletic competitions, its running track was also a place where during the imperial cult festival wild animals were slaughtered and hardened criminals (gladiators) fought, bled, and died.

Abandonment

Panathenaic stadium 1835
The ruins of the stadium in the background, 1835

After Hellenistic festivals and bloody spectacles were banned by Roman Emperor Theodosius I in the late 4th century, the stadium was abandoned and fell into ruin. Gradually, its significance was forgotten and a field of wheat covered the site.[22] During the Latin rule of Athens, Crusader knights held feasts of arms at the stadium. A 15th century traveler saw "not only several rows of white marble benches, but also the portico at the entrance of the Stadion, which he calls the North entrance, and the Stoa round the koilon, which he calls the South entrance."[26] The derelict stadium's marbles were incorporated into other buildings. European travelers wrote of "magical rites enacted by young Athenian maidens in the ruined vaulted passage, aimed at finding a good husband."[16]

Panathinaiko Stadio 1870
The stadium 1870, following excavations by Ziller

Modern reconstruction

Excavations and Zappas Olympics

Following Greece's independence, archaeological excavation as early as 1836 uncovered traces of the stadium of Herodes Atticus. Further, more thorough, excavation was conducted by the German-born architect Ernst Ziller in 1869–70.[27] The Zappas Olympics, an early attempt to revive the ancient Olympic Games, were held at the stadium in 1870 and 1875. They were sponsored by the Greek benefactor Evangelis Zappas.[16] The games had an audience of 30,000 people.[28]

1896 Olympics

The Greek government, through crown prince Constantine, requested the Egypt-based Greek businessman George Averoff, to sponsor the second refurbishment of the stadium prior to the 1896 Olympics.[29] Based on the findings of Ziller, a reconstruction plan was prepared by the architect Anastasios Metaxas in the mid-1890s.[3] Darling writes that "He duplicated the dimensions and design of the second-century structure, arranging the tiers of seats around the U-shaped track."[4] It was rebuilt in Pentelic marble and is "distinguished by its high degree of fidelity to the ancient monument of Herodes."[16] Averoff donated 920,000 drachmas to this project.[4][29] As a tribute to his generosity, a statue of Averoff was constructed and unveiled on 5 April 1896 outside the stadium. It stands there to this day.[30]

The stadium held the opening and closing ceremonies of the 1896 Olympics.[31] On 6 April (25 March according to the Julian calendar then in use in Greece), the games of the First Olympiad were officially opened; it was Easter Monday for both the Western and Eastern Christian Churches and the anniversary of Greece's independence.[32] The stadium was filled with an estimated 80,000 spectators, including King George I of Greece, his wife Olga, and their sons. Most of the competing athletes were aligned on the infield, grouped by nation. After a speech by the president of the organizing committee, Crown Prince Constantine, his father officially opened the games.[33] The stadium also served as the venue for Athletics, Gymnastics, Weightlifting and Wrestling.[34]

Panathenaic Stadium 1895 reconstruction

Reconstruction works at the stadium, 1895

Panathenaic Stadium 1896 oppening

The first day of the 1896 Olympics

Athens 1896-Entrance of the Pan-Athenian stadium

Entrance of participants to the stadium. The Acropolis is seen in the background.

1896 Olympic opening ceremony

The opening ceremony

20th century

1906 Olympics

The stadium hosted the 1906 Intercalated Games from 22 April to 2 May.[35]

Athens archery
Archery matches in the stadium during the 2004 Olympics
A.E.K Basketball Club venue

From the mid- to late 1960s, the stadium was used by AEK Basketball Club. On 4 April 1968, the 1967–68 FIBA European Cup Winners' Cup final was hosted in the stadium where A.E.K. defeated Slavia Prague in front of around 80,000 seated spectators inside the arena and another 40,000 standing spectators. It is believed that since that game the Panathenaic Stadium holds the world record attendance for any basketball game as of 2009.[36]

Regime of the Colonels

During the Regime of the Colonels (1967–74), large annual events were held at the stadium, particularly the "Festival of the Military Virtues of the Greeks" (in late August-early September) and the "Revolution of 21 April 1967", the date of the coup that brought the right-wing regime to power. In these festivals, the stadium, "with its aura of antiquity stood as a monument to Greek rebirth, national pride, and international interest." The dictators exploited its setting to showcase their supposed popularity and propagate their new, "revolutionary" political culture.[37]

2004 Olympics

The stadium "needed no major refurbishing" prior to the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens.[38] During the games the stadium hosted the archery competition (15–21 August) and was the finish of the Marathon for both women (22 August) and men (29 August).[39][40]

2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games

The opening ceremony of the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games were held here which featured special appearances such as Stevie Wonder, Vanessa Williams and Zhang Ziyi. The games ran from 25 June to 5 July.

Concert venue

On occasions, the stadium has also been used as a venue for selected musical and dance performances.

Other concerts include those of Spanish tenor Plácido Domingo (27 June 2007)[45] and a dance performance by Joaquín Cortés (14 September 2009).[41]

Other events

The stadium hosted the opening ceremony of the 1997 World Championships in Athletics on a concept by composer Vangelis and along with the performance of soprano Montserrat Caballé.[41][46]

In more recent years, the stadium has been often used to honour the homecoming of victorious Greek athletes, most notably the Greece national football team after its victory at the UEFA Euro 2004 on 5 July 2004[41] as well as Greek medalists in recent Olympic Games.

Architecture

Katherine Welch described the stadium as a "great marble flight of steps terraced into the contours of a U-shaped ravine — splendid in materials but ostentatiously simple in construction technique."[23]

Influence

The Panathenaic Stadium influenced the stadium architecture in the West in the 20th century. Harvard Stadium in Boston, built in 1903, was modeled after the Panathenaic Stadium.[47][48] Designated as a National Historic Landmark, it is the first collegiate athletic stadium in the United States. Deutsches Stadion in Nuremberg, designed by Albert Speer, was also modeled on the Panathenaic Stadium.[49][50] Speer was inspired by the stadium when he visited Athens in 1935.[51] The stadium was designed for some 400,000 spectators and was one of the monumental structures of the Nazi regime. Its construction began in 1937, but was never completed.

Commemorations

The Panathenaic Stadium was selected as the main motif for a high value euro collectors' coin; the €100 Greek The Panathenaic Stadium commemorative coin, minted in 2003 to commemorate the 2004 Olympics. In the obverse of the coin, the stadium is depicted. It is shown on the obverse of all Olympic medals awarded in the 2004 Olympics, and it was also used for the following Summer Olympics in Beijing in 2008, in London in 2012 and in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

Gallery

Stadion

Atlas von Athen, Berlin, 1878

Estadio Panatenaico
Kallimarmaron NW
Athens2

View from Mt. Lycabettus at night

Δισκοβόλος, Παναθηναϊκό Στάδιο - panoramio (1)

Discobolus statue outside the stadium by Konstantinos Dimitriadis

Panorama of the Panathenaic stadium from the entrance
GR-athen-panathinaiko-stadion
Kallimarmaron Panathinaiko-Stadion 2014

References

Notes
  1. ^ Ancient Greek: στάδιον Παναθηναικόν, translit. stádion Panathēnaikón, as spelled by Philostratus.[2]
  2. ^ The dominant view is that Herodes Atticus built the stadium on the site of the Lykourgan stadium.[10] However, Romano suggested a long terrace at the Pnyx hill was the location of the Lykourgan stadium because when Ernst Ziller excavated the site of the Panathenaic Stadium he "found no trace of an earlier stadium."[21] Miller et al. criticize Romano's proposed location: "There is certainly no indication in Ziller's account that he was even concerned with looking for traces of anything earlier that the Stadium of Herodus Atticus."[13]
References
  1. ^ "Stadiums in Greece". worldstadiums.com. Multi-use Athens Panathenaic Stadium 45 000
  2. ^ Welch 1998, p. 139.
  3. ^ a b c Kakissis, Joanna (15 October 2014). "36 Hours in Athens". The New York Times.
  4. ^ a b c d Darling 2004, p. 135.
  5. ^ Behan, Rosemary (22 March 2016). "Ultratravel cityguide: Ancient Athens is great value and affluent in all the right ways". The National. Abu Dhabi.
  6. ^ "Greece hands over Olympic flame to Rio 2016 organisers". The Week. Kochi, India. 28 April 2016. The flame that will burn for Rio Olympic Games was handed over to the Brazilian organisers in a spectacular ceremony held at Panathenaic Stadium in Athens.
  7. ^ "Olympic flame handover from Greece to London". The Guardian. 17 May 2012. The Olympic flame is due to be handed over from Greece to London this afternoon at the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens...
  8. ^ a b c "Panathenaic Stadium". culture.gr. Hellenic Republic Ministry of Culture and Sports. 2012. Archived from the original on 2017-10-28.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link) ()
  9. ^ Tobin 1993, p. 89.
  10. ^ a b c d Welch 1998, p. 133.
  11. ^ a b c Darling 2004, p. 133.
  12. ^ a b c Dinsmoor, William Bell (1950). The Architecture of Ancient Greece: An Account of Its Historic Development. Biblo & Tannen Publishers. p. 250. ISBN 9780819602831. The Panathenaic stadium at Athens, 850 feet long, was constructed of poros stone by the legislator Lycurgus [...]; it was only long afterwards, at about A.D. 143, the stadium was reconstructed in Pentelic marble by Herodes Atticus.
  13. ^ a b Miller, Stephen G.; Knapp, Robert C.; Chamberlain, David (2001). The Early Hellenistic Stadium. University of California Press. pp. 211. ISBN 9780520216778.
  14. ^ a b Romano 1985, p. 444.
  15. ^ a b c Wycherley, Richard Ernest (1978). The Stones of Athens. Princeton University Press. p. 215.
  16. ^ a b c d "History". panathenaicstadium.gr. Hellenic Olympic Committee. 2011. Archived from the original on 2017-10-28. (, )
  17. ^ a b Miller, Stephen G. (2006). Ancient Greek Athletics. Yale University Press. p. 137. ISBN 9780300115291.
  18. ^ Abrahams, Harold. "Olympic Games". Encyclopædia Britannica. The track-and-field events were held at the Panathenaic Stadium. The stadium, originally built in 330 bce, had been excavated but not rebuilt for the 1870 Greek Olympics and lay in disrepair before the 1896 Olympics, but through the direction and financial aid of Georgios Averoff, a wealthy Egyptian Greek, it was restored with white marble.
  19. ^ Kyle, Donald G. (1993). Athletics in Ancient Athens. BRILL. pp. 94–95. ISBN 9789004097599.
  20. ^ a b Tobin 1993, p. 81.
  21. ^ Romano 1985, pp. 444-445.
  22. ^ a b Darling 2004, p. 134.
  23. ^ a b c d e f g Welch 1998, p. 135.
  24. ^ Welch 1998, p. 137.
  25. ^ Welch 1998, pp. 137-138.
  26. ^ Polites 1896, p. 48.
  27. ^ Tobin 1993, p. 82.
  28. ^ Young 1996, Chapter 4
  29. ^ a b Young 1996, p. 128.
  30. ^ "George Averoff Dead: A Benefactor of Greece and Egypt" (PDF). The New York Times. 4 August 1899.
  31. ^ Young 1996, p. 153.
  32. ^ Martin, David E.; Gynn, Roger W. H. (2000). "The Olympic Marathon". Running through the Ages. Human Kinetics. pp. 7–8. ISBN 0-88011-969-1. OCLC 42823784.
  33. ^ Athens 1896 – Games of the I Olympiad, International Olympic Committee
  34. ^ "The first Modern Olympic Games". panathenaicstadium.gr. Hellenic Olympic Committee. 2011.
  35. ^ Polley, Martin (2013). The British Olympics: Britain's Olympic Heritage 1612-2012. English Heritage. pp. 101. ISBN 9781848022263. ...staged their first Intercalated Games, held once again at the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens, from April 22 to May 2, 1906.
  36. ^ "Partizan sets crowd record at Belgrade Arena!". euroleague.net. Euroleague. 5 March 2009. Archived from the original on 15 June 2016.
  37. ^ Van Steen, Gonda (2015). Stage of Emergency: Theater and Public Performance Under the Greek Military Dictatorship of 1967-1974. Oxford University Press. pp. 164–167. ISBN 9780198718321.
  38. ^ Robbins, Liz (18 July 2004). "The Hurdles Before the Games". The New York Times.
  39. ^ Official Report of the XXVIII Olympiad (pdf). 2. Athens Organising Committee for the Olympic Games. November 2005. pp. 237, 242, 244. ISBN 960-88101-8-3. Archived (PDF) from the original on 19 August 2008.
  40. ^ "Athens 2004". panathenaicstadium.gr. Hellenic Olympic Committee. 2011.
  41. ^ a b c d e "Memorable moments". panathenaicstadium.gr. Hellenic Olympic Committee. 2011. Archived from the original on 2017-10-28.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link) ()
  42. ^ Papadimitriou, Lena (24 May 1998). "10 ροκ συναυλίες που δεν θα ξεχάσουμε [10 rock concerts that we will not forget]". To Vima (in Greek).
  43. ^ "R.E.M. Help Welcome MTV Greece At Concert In Athens". www.mtv.com. 6 October 2008.
  44. ^ "Athens Gets Ready to Rock With Scorpions". www.greece.greekreporter.com. 16 July 2018.
  45. ^ "Placido Domingo – Γιατροί Χωρίς Σύνορα – Μια φωνή για το Νταρφούρ". www.hotstation.gr (in Greek). 6 June 2007.
  46. ^ "March with Me - Vangelis with Montserrat Caballe (Live in Athens - Greece)". dailymotion.com.
  47. ^ Guiliano, Jennifer (2015). Indian Spectacle: College Mascots and the Anxiety of Modern America. Rutgers University. p. 27. ISBN 9780813565569. The first modern stadium was built in 1903 at Harvard University. Modeled on the Olympic Panathenaic stadium that debuted in Athens, Greece, in 1896...
  48. ^ Williams, Jack (22 November 2014). "Harvard triumph over Yale to show heart of The Game is still beating strong". The Guardian. ...the century-old design based on the Panathenaic Stadium in Athen, which hosted the first modern Olympic Games, in 1896...
  49. ^ Brockmann, Stephen (2006). Nuremberg: The Imaginary Capital. Camden House Publishing. p. 149. ISBN 9781571133458. Speer modeled [...] the planned Deutsches Stadion (German stadium) on the Olympic stadium in ancient Athens.
  50. ^ Landfester, Manfred; Cancik, Hubert; Schneider, Helmuth, eds. (2008). Brill's New Pauly: Encyclopaedia of the Ancient World. Classical tradition, Volume 3. Brill. p. 816. ISBN 9789004142237. A 'Deutsches Stadion' was to copy the horseshoe shape of the stadium in Athens, renovated in 1896.
  51. ^ Karow, Yvonne (1997). Deutsches Opfer: Kultische Selbstauslöschung auf den Reichsparteitagen der NSDAP (in German). Berlin: Akademie Verlag. p. 38. ISBN 9783050031408. Deutsches Stadion (Modell) der typischen Form des langgestreckten Hufeisens – Speer nennt das Athener Stadion des Herodes Atticus, das ihn bei seinem Besuch 1935 tief beeindruckte, als architektonisches Vorbild... translation: Deutsches Stadion (model) of the typical shape of the elongated horseshoe – Speer called the Athens Stadium of Herodes Atticus, the deeply impressed him during his visit in 1935 as an architectural model...
Bibliography
1896 Summer Olympics

The 1896 Summer Olympics (Greek: Θερινοί Ολυμπιακοί Αγώνες 1896, translit. Therinoí Olympiakoí Agónes 1896), officially known as the Games of the I Olympiad, was the first international Olympic Games held in modern history. Organised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which had been created by Pierre de Coubertin, it was held in Athens, Greece, from 6 to 15 April 1896.

Winners were given a silver medal, while runners-up received a copper medal. Retroactively, the IOC has converted these to gold and silver, and awarded bronze medals to third placed athletes. Ten of the 14 participating nations earned medals. The United States won the most gold medals, 11, host nation Greece won the most medals overall, 46. The highlight for the Greeks was the marathon victory by their compatriot Spyridon Louis. The most successful competitor was German wrestler and gymnast Carl Schuhmann, who won four events.

Athens had been unanimously chosen to stage the inaugural modern Games during a congress organised by Coubertin in Paris on 23 June 1894, during which the IOC was also created, because Greece was the birthplace of the Ancient Olympic Games. The main venue was the Panathenaic Stadium, where athletics and wrestling took place; other venues included the Neo Phaliron Velodrome for cycling, and the Zappeion for fencing. The opening ceremony was held in the Panathenaic Stadium on 6 April, during which most of the competing athletes were aligned on the infield, grouped by nation. After a speech by the president of the organising committee, Crown Prince Constantine, his father officially opened the Games. Afterwards, nine bands and 150 choir singers performed an Olympic Hymn, composed by Spyridon Samaras, with words by poet Kostis Palamas.

The 1896 Olympics were regarded as a great success. The Games had the largest international participation of any sporting event to that date. The Panathenaic Stadium overflowed with the largest crowd ever to watch a sporting event. After the Games, Coubertin and the IOC were petitioned by several prominent figures, including Greece's King George and some of the American competitors in Athens, to hold all the following Games in Athens. However, the 1900 Summer Olympics were already planned for Paris and, except for the Intercalated Games of 1906, the Olympics did not return to Greece until the 2004 Summer Olympics, 108 years later.

1967–68 FIBA European Cup Winners' Cup

The 1967–68 FIBA European Cup Winners' Cup was the second edition of FIBA's 2nd-tier level European-wide professional club basketball competition, contested between national domestic cup champions, running from November 1967, to 4 April 1968. 22 teams took part in the competition, three more than in the inaugural edition.

AEK defeated 1966 FIBA European Champions Cup runner-up Slavia VŠ Praha, in the final, which for the first time was held as a single match, to become the competition's first Greek League champion. They previously defeated defending champion, Ignis Varese, in the semifinals.In the final between AEK and Slavia VŠ Praha, which took place in Pangrati, Athens, at Panathenaic Stadium, the seated attendance was 80,000, and the standing attendance, in and around the arena, was 40,000 (for a total of 120,000).

1988 Summer Olympics torch relay

The 1988 Summer Olympics torch relay was run from August 23 until September 17, prior to the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul. The route covered around 4,526 kilometres (2,812 mi) and involved over 1,856 torchbearers. Sohn Kee-chung, Chung Sun-man and Kim Won-tak lit the cauldron at the opening ceremony.

2004 Summer Olympics

The 2004 Summer Olympic Games (Greek: Θερινοί Ολυμπιακοί Αγώνες 2004, Therinoí Olympiakoí Agónes 2004), officially known as the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad and commonly known as Athens 2004, was a premier international multi-sport event held in Athens, Greece, from 13 to 29 August 2004 with the motto Welcome Home.

The Games saw 10,625 athletes compete, some 600 more than expected, accompanied by 5,501 team officials from 201 countries. There were 301 medal events in 28 different sports. Athens 2004 marked the first time since the 1996 Summer Olympics that all countries with a National Olympic Committee were in attendance. 2004 also marked the return of the Olympic Games to the city where they began. Having previously hosted the Olympics in 1896, Athens became one of only four cities to have hosted the Summer Olympic Games on two separate occasions (together with Paris, London and Los Angeles).

A new medal obverse was introduced at these Games, replacing the design by Giuseppe Cassioli that had been used since the 1928 Games. This rectified the long lasting mistake of using a depiction of the Roman Colosseum rather than a Greek venue. The new design features the Panathenaic Stadium. The 2004 Summer Games were hailed as "unforgettable, dream games" by IOC President Jacques Rogge, and left Athens with a significantly improved infrastructure, including a new airport, ring road, and subway system.

There have been arguments (mostly in popular media) regarding the cost of the 2004 Athens Summer Games and their possible contribution to the 2010 Greek government-debt crisis, however, there is little or no evidence for such a correlation.

The 2004 Olympics were generally deemed to be a success, with the rising standard of competition amongst nations across the world. The final medal tally was led by the United States, followed by China and Russia with the host Greece at 15th place. Several World and Olympic records were broken during these Games.

2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games

The 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games was a sporting event held from June, 25th 2011 – July, 4th 2011 in Athens, Greece. The opening ceremony of the games took place on 25 June 2011 at the Panathenaic Stadium and the closing ceremony was held on 4 July 2011.

"Over 7,500" athletes, from 185 countries, competed in a total of twenty-two sports.

2020 Summer Olympics torch relay

The 2020 Summer Olympics torch relay will run from March 12 until July 24, 2020. After being lit in Olympia, Greece, the torch will travel to Athens on the 17th of April. The Japanese leg will begin in Fukushima, and will end in Tokyo's New National Stadium, the main venue of the 2020 Olympics. It will visit Japanese cities, including all 27 prefectural capitals. The torch is reported to go to two remote islands which are part of Tokyo. The end of the relay will be the finale of the 2020 Summer Olympics opening ceremony. Toyota, NTT and Nippon Life are the presenting partners of the relay with the slogan being "Hope Lights Our Way".

Alphonse Grisel

Alphonse Grisel was a French athlete and gymnast. He competed at the 1896 Summer Olympics in Athens.From 1895 Grisel was affiliated to Racing Club de France, he was the French National long jump champion in 1896 with a jump of 6.23 metres, and runner-up in 1893, 1895 and 1898 with a third place in 1894, he was also National runner-up in the 400 metre hurdles in 1895.At the 1896 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece he competed in five different events, four in athletics and one gymnastic event.On the 6th of April 1896 after the opening ceremony, Grisel competed in three athletics events, in the 100 metres he came fourth in his heat out of five runners so didn't qualify for the final, in the 400 metres Grisel failed to finish in the top two in his heat so again he didn't qualify for the final, he also competed in the discus, no record is showing of his distance thrown but he didn't make the top four out of the nine throwers.The next day he was back in the Panathenaic Stadium to compete in the long jump, again no official records show his distance but some reports do show he jumped 5.83 metres and finished in fifth place.After a two day break, Grisel was back, this time competing in the parallel bars in the gymnastics, only Alfred Flatow (gold) and Louis Zutter (silver) were awarded medals, there isn't any official placings for the other 16 gymnasts involved, and even after all this Grisel still had the time and energy to follow fellow countryman Albin Lermusiaux on a bicycle as he competed in the marathon.

Athletics at the 1906 Intercalated Games – Men's 100 metres

The men's 100 metres competition at the 1906 Intercalated Games was held at the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens, Greece from 25–27 April. A total of 42 athletes from 13 nations competed in the 100 m event.

Deutsches Stadion

The Deutsches Stadion ("German Stadium") was a monumental stadium designed by Albert Speer for the Nazi party rally grounds in Nuremberg, southern Germany. Its construction began in September 1937, and was slated for completion in 1943. Like most other Nazi monumental structures, however, its construction was interrupted by the outbreak of World War II and never finished.

Greece at the 1924 Summer Olympics

Greece competed at the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris, France. 39 competitors, 38 men and 1 woman, took part in 37 events in 9 sports. Greek athletes did not win any medals, but the gold medal was awarded to sculptor Konstantinos Dimitriadis for his work Discobole Finlandais. Art competitions were part of the Olympic program from 1912 to 1948. A copy of Dimitriadis's sculpture is situated opposite the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens.

Greek Basketball Cup

The Greek Basketball Cup or Hellenic Basketball Cup (Greek: Κύπελλο Ελλάδος καλαθοσφαίρισης ανδρών) is the top-tier level annual pro basketball national cup competition in Greece. It is organized by the Hellenic Basketball Federation (E.O.K.).

Hellenic Olympic Committee

The Hellenic Olympic Committee (HOC) (Greek: Ελληνική Ολυμπιακή Επιτροπή) is the governing Olympic body of Greece. As one of the oldest National Olympic Committees in the world, it organizes the country's representatives at the Olympic Games and other multi-sport events.

Members of the committee are 27 sports federations, which elect the Executive Council composed of the president and six members.

It is based in Athens, Greece.

Herodou Attikou Street

Herodou Attikou Street or Irodou Attikou Street (Greek: Οδός Ηρώδου Αττικού, pronounced [oˈðos iˈroðu atiˈku]) is located east of downtown Athens and is adjacent to the National Garden of Athens. The street is named after the ancient Athenian rhetorician, magnate and major benefactor of the Roman era, Herodes Atticus.

The tree-lined one-way street runs from north (Vasilissis Sofias Avenue) to south (Vasileos Konstantinou Avenue). It is, by far, the most expensive piece of housing real estate in Greece and one of the most expensive in Europe. The five-block-long eastern side of the street is lined with luxurious apartments and mansions, foremost among them the Presidential Palace, the official workplace and residence of the President of the Hellenic Republic, and the Maximos Mansion (Μέγαρο Μαξίμου, Megaro Maximou), the official workplace of the Prime Minister. Kolonaki, a shopping district, lies immediately to the north, the National Gardens to the west and the Panathenaic Stadium to the southeast. The barracks of the Presidential Guard are the only buildings on the western (National Garden) side of the street. The street is heavily guarded by police (both uniformed and plainclothes) round the clock.

Kallimarmaro, Athens

Kallimarmaro (Greek: Καλλιμάρμαρο pronounced [kaliˈmaɾmaɾo]) is a small neighborhood of Athens, Greece, named after the Panathenaic Stadium. It is located within Pangrati.

MTV (Greek TV channel)

MTV Greece was a Greek free-to-air television channel launched on 1 September 2008. Owned by Viacom International, it closed down in 11 January 2016 due to low ratings because of its reality shows-centric programming. It was replaced by Rise on terrestrial television. Also, it OTE TV and NOVA subscription providers, it was replaced by MTV Europe and MTV Live HD.MTV Greece used to air mainly British, American and Greek music, MTV original shows like Date My Mom, Made, Nitro Circus, RoomRaiders, America's Most Smartest Model, etc. subtitled in Greek, as well as three Greek shows (Hitlist Hellas, MTV Pulse, MTV Take 20). It was available on terrestrial television in Athens and via satellite to the rest of the country and Cyprus. MTV also launched MTV Plus, a regional spin-off channel based in Thessaloniki.

MTV Greece's launch event took place in Panathenaic Stadium on 5 October 2008 with live performances from R.E.M., Kaiser Chiefs, Gabriella Cilmi, and C Real. The concert was also broadcast live in Italy, France, Portugal and Spain on MTV. On 9 October 2009 MTV organized the first MTV Day, a celebration for the 1 year of airing in Greece. MTV held a concert at the Olympic Indoor Hall, in Athens, with quests Myronas Stratis, Professional Sinnerz, Moral, Aloha From Hell and Tokio Hotel. The concert was recorded and was later shown on the MTV World Stage.

A high-definition feed of the channel was launched on 17 October 2011.

Olympic Stadium

Olympic Stadium is the name usually given to the main stadium of an Olympic Games.

An Olympic stadium is the site of the opening and closing ceremonies. Many, though not all, of these venues actually contain the words Olympic Stadium as part of their names.

Olympic Stadium may also be named a multi-purpose stadium which hosts Olympic sports.In the case of the Summer Olympic Games, athletics competitions and the football final are traditionally held in the Olympic Stadium. Exceptions to this have occurred though at the 1900, 1996 and 2016 Summer Olympics as well as at the 2010 and 2018 Summer Youth Olympic Games.

Early Winter Olympic Games often used figure skating venues as focal points. These were often designated as the Olympic Stadium, usually hosting the opening and closing ceremonies.

A number of stadiums have been used in more than one Olympics, in those cities that have held the Games more than once.

Lysgårdsbakken was the main stadium of a Winter Olympics and a Winter Youth Olympic Games (YOG). Bergiselschanze was the main stadium of two Winter Olympics and one Winter YOG. Olympiahalle jointly shared the Olympic Stadium role with Bergiselschanze during the two Winter Olympics, but not during the Winter YOG. Only one stadium, the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, has been the main stadium of two Summer Olympics (and it will be a main stadium a third time during the 2028 games). In addition to the inaugural Summer Olympics, Panathinaiko Stadio was also the main stadium of the only Intercalated Games held. In 2022 Beijing National Stadium will join these in being the main stadium at two Olympics, but with a special distinction: it will become the only stadium to have been such at both a Summer and a Winter Olympics.

A number, including both the Panathinaiko Stadio and the Vélodrome de Vincennes, have hosted events at subsequent Olympics. The London Games of 2012 were not opened and closed at the rebuilt Wembley Stadium, the site of the 1948 Olympic Stadium, but instead at a new stadium in Stratford. Wembley was, however, the venue for some 2012 Olympic football matches. Likewise, the Melbourne Cricket Ground, which was the centrepiece stadium for the 1956 games, later hosted the first games of the Sydney 2000 football tournament. Lake Placid's 1930 Olympic Stadium was utilized in the 1980 Lake Placid games as the speed skating venue. Olympiahalle hosted figure skating and short-track speed skating during the 2012 Winter Youth Olympics. Stockholm Olympic Stadium hosted equestrian events for the 1956 Summer Olympics (while the 1956 games were held in Melbourne, Australia, quarantine restrictions prevented equestrian events from being held domestically, thus Stockholm, Sweden hosted the 1956 equestrian competitions).

Panathenaic Games

The Panathenaic Games (Ancient Greek: Παναθήναια) were held every four years in Athens in Ancient Greece from 566 BC to the 3rd century AD. These Games incorporated religious festival, ceremony (including prize-giving), athletic competitions, and cultural events hosted within a stadium.

Stadiou Street

Stadiou Street (Greek: Οδός Σταδíου, Odós Stadíou, "Stadium Street") is Athens' major street linking the Omonoia and Syntagma Squares. It runs diagonally and is one-way from northwest to southeast. The street is named after the ancient Panathenaic Stadium located about 3 km southeast of the downtown core and is aligned directly with the ancient stadium.

This street had existed during ancient times. The modern street was originally designed to extend all the way to the stadium. The project was cut short for lack of funding, but the name remained. The street was officially renamed "Churchill Street" after World War II in honour of the British prime minister, but Athenians usually remained faithful to the traditional name of the street. The same is true of the other two main thoroughfares of downtown Athens, which run parallel to each other and to Stadiou Street: "Eleftherios Venizelos Street" and "Roosevelt Street" were likewise never adopted by the public, which insisted on the traditional University and Akadimias Street respectively.

Famous buildings on the street are the Bank of Greece building, and the Old Parliament. Klafthmonos Square is a square that is located off the central part of this street; its name literally means "Lamentation Square" (from Κλαυθμών, Klafthmōn, weeping or lamentation) and the Ministry of the Interior is located by it. In the 19th century, Greek public servants were not permanent but could be hired or sacked on a minister's whim. Following each election, they would gather at this square in order to find out what the election results were: in case of victory of a party other than the one that hired them, they would lament their impending unemployment. Abiding with the aforementioned tradition of downtown Athens, Klafthmonos Square was officially renamed "National Reconciliation Square" but retains its popular name in almost every context.

Zappas Olympics

The Zappas Olympics (Greek: Ζάππειες Ολυμπιάδες), simply called Olympics (Greek: Ολύμπια, Olympia) at the time, were a series of athletic events held in Athens, Greece, in 1859, 1870, and 1875 sponsored by Greek businessman Evangelis Zappas. These games were one of the first revivals of the ancient Olympic Games in the modern era. Their success provided further inspiration for William Penny Brookes in England, whose games had been running since 1850, and the International Olympic Committee series from 1896.

Zappas' contribution in this process was vital: not only were the games hosted at his own initiative, he also provided the funds for the staging of the games, as well as for the construction of much-needed infrastructure, including the refurbishment of the ancient Panathenaic Stadium, which hosted the Games of 1870 and 1875. The same stadium would also host the first IOC Games of 1896, the 1906 Intercalated Games, and archery and the marathon finish at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.

Neighbourhoods of Athens
Major landmarks of Athens
Ancient
Byzantine
Ottoman
Modern
Marinas
Others
OACA
HOC
Faliro
GOC
MOC
Football venues
Other venues

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