One the most places in Athens
Greece is a country small in size, but big in history. Every path we take hides behind it a piece of history that has not yet been discovered. Athens, the capital, has many historical monuments, great statues and sights that testify to a glorious past.
At 116 35 Vassileos Konstantinou Avenue, near the National Garden and east of Zappeion, is one of the most important stadiums-monuments of all mankind: the Panathenaic Stadium (or Kallimarmaro). Huge, majestic, proud, a jewel which is a great tourist and cultural symbol throughout the centuries. The stadium is a place that exudes grandeur with a parallel sense of calm from the restless and noisy, usually, center of the capital.
History of Panathenaic Stadium
Located north of Arditto, the Stadium belongs to the area of Pagrati, through which the Ilissos River passes, the Panathenaic Stadium is a timeless and universal symbol of beauty, praise of the sports ideal and culture. The story it hides is even more important, as it is the first stadium in the world where the first modern Olympic Games were held in 1896.
The Panathenaic Stadium has a long history, as in antiquity it was the place where the Panathenaic Games took place, the great celebration in honor of the goddess Athena. Today, it is a large concert venue with big names from the world music scene such as Cure and Depeche Mode gave concerts. Other great artistic events that took place at the Stadium were the staging of the opera Aida and the 1906 Summer Olympics. The Panathenaic Stadium has a capacity of 45,000 spectators, while in 1896 it held about 80,000 and in 144 A.D. about 50,000. In the first years of its existence the seats were wooden to be later rebuilt in marble during Lycurgus in 329 B.C.
The Stadium over the centuries, suffered great suffering, while in the Middle Ages most of its marbles had been stripped and destroyed. When Otto declared Athens the capital, Kallimarmaro was completely in ruins.
Two great national benefactors undertook the task of restoring the great stadium-monument: Evangelos Zappas in 1856 with the architect François Boulanger, but this plan was canceled. In 1874, the architects Anastasios Metaxas and Ernestos Ziller undertook the renovation and reconstruction of the Stadium with the national benefactor George Averoff offering to cover the entire amount for the completion of the project, at the request of the Successor Constantine.
Statues around the Panathenaic Stadium
The Panathenaic Stadium is surrounded by statues of unique beauty and inexhaustible beauty. Opposite is the Discovolos by Konstantinos Dimitriadis, a 2.20 meter high sculpture that represents the athlete as he prepares to throw the record.
A little further from Diskovolos, we meet the Woodcutter, a work by Dimitrios Filippotis. Diskovolos represents a man trying to break a tree on his own, he is one of the most beautiful statues in all of Athens.
And, of course, the statue of George Averoff, the national benefactor who gave the Stadium the opportunity to be reborn and rebuilt, right next to the Stadium. Work of Georgios Vroutos, was placed in 1895 by decision of the Olympic Games Committee as a tribute.
The Panathenaic Stadium is one of the most beautiful places in Athens, in Greece as a whole. It exudes sanctity, admiration and respect of the conquest for our higher, better self.