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- Panathenaic Stadium Location
- Stadium Hours
- Track Length
- Some History
- The Panathinaikos Stadium Today
When visiting historic Athens, you should take some time to see the beautiful Panathenaic Stadium (also known as Panathinaikos Stadium) located just east of the Temple Of Zeus and southeast of the National Gardens and Zappion Building.
Panathenaic Stadium Location
The stadium can be found at the intersection of Vassileos Konstandinou, Vassilissis Olgas and Irodou Attikou streets. It is only a short walk from Syntagma and Evangelismos metro stations or of course alternatively, any taxi driver can take you there.
Panathenaic Stadium Hours
|March – October||8:00 AM – 7:00 PM|
|November – February||8:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
From March till October the Stadium opens its doors at 8 am and closes at 7 pm. Starting November the doors are open till 5 pm. The last entries are half an hour before closing.
Panathenaic Stadium Tickets
|Regular tickets||5,00 €|
|Discounted tickets (students and visitors aged 65 years and older)||2,50 €|
|Visitors with disabilities (including accompanying person)||Free|
|Kids under 6 years old||Free|
Right now, the admission fee to the stadium is 5 euros. They offer discounted tickets to students as well as visitors aged 65 years and older. The entrance fee includes an audio guide that allows each visitor to explore the history of The Panathenaic Stadium as they walk around the site.
Checkout the Stadium’s official website for more detailed information.
Panathenaic Stadium Track Length
This really is an impressive place with the running track between and beneath the tiers of steps. The word ‘stadium’ comes from the ancient Greek word ‘Stadion’ which was actually a unit of measurement. The running track measures 185m (607ft) long and is approximately the same as one ‘Stadion’.
The Panathenaic Stadium, known locally as Panathinaikos, is the world’s only stadium built entirely from marble. The stone comes from nearby Mount Pendeli and in fact, is such a magnificent sight that it is also known as Kallimarmaro (often translated as “Beautifully Marbled”).
The present structure was built in 1896 and based on the ruins of the ancient Greek stadium originally constructed for the Panathenaic Games in 329 BC.
At that time, just outside Athens, there was a ravine between two hills and this was decided upon to be the ideal site. This area gave a perfect space for athletes and other public games while the stepped slopes, constructed from the surrounding clay, provided seats for the audience.
Later on, in 140 AD, the original structure was enlarged and modernized by Herodes Atticus who used the famous brilliant white Pentelic marble that had also been used for building the Acropolis.
The extended Stadium could then seat approximately 50,000 people. The contemporary writers and historians all described the structure as a marble miracle that was unlike anything else of its kind.
The Modern Olympic Games
Over the centuries the structure deteriorated and was looted of its wonderful marble veneer. When the modern Olympic Games were being planned for 1896, the stadium was chosen to host the celebrations and was once again renovated. This time, however, it was to seat 80,000 spectators.
Archaeological excavations had previously exposed the foundations of the original stadium and the new structure was rebuilt in exactly the same place. Unfortunately, the renovations weren’t quite finished in time for the Olympic Games. The organizers had to disguise certain unfinished parts of the stadium with marble statues and potted plants right before the Games.
They have managed to complete all reconstruction works by 1900 and decorate all Panathenaic Stadium facilities with local marble. It was, therefore, ready in time for the 1906 Games (also known as The 1906 Intercalated Games), also hosted by Greece.
In 2004 Greece hosted the Olympic Games and the Stadium was used once more for various athletic events including the archery competitions and the finish of the Olympic Marathon. In fact, the Panathenaic Stadium is the only structure in the world that has hosted the Olympic Games three times.
The Panathinaikos Stadium Today
Although this spectacular monument with its brilliant white marble is beautiful to look at in its own right, ancient structures are even more wonderful when they are used regularly. Thanks to the influx of tourists to Athens, there is no shortage of visitors to this historic location.
Panathenaic Stadium Morning Jog
If you enjoy jogging and want to become part of the elite club of athletes of Ancient Greece you are welcome to visit The Panathenaic Stadium for the daily run. It starts at 7:30 AM, finishes at 9:00 AM and is led by a qualified fitness coach. Make sure to wear your running shoes.
You can, however, run on your own at any time of the day until sunset as long as there are no special events taking place.
The Panathenaic Stadium has some of the best views of Mount Lycabettus, the Acropolis, the Parthenon, and the National Gardens. Make sure to climb to the top seating row where you’ll find a perfect photo shoot location.
The Authentic Athens Marathon Race
Have you ever wondered why a long distance running race is called a Marathon? The best way to find out is to visit the Panathenaic Stadium in November. It is the finishing line of the 42.2km (26.2 miles) run from the town of Marathon to Athens.
More than 50,000 athletes from around the world visit Athens Marathon every year to participate in the famous run. In 2019 the Marathon will take place on the 10th of November.
The Olympic Flame
If you want to see something really impressive and extremely beautiful, come along to the Stadium during an Olympic Games year. The Olympic Flame is first kindled by the rays of the sun at the ancient Temple of Hera at Olympia before being carried around the country until it arrives at the Panathenaic Stadium.
Here it is handed-over during the official ceremony to the torch bearer of the new host country. The Flame is then carried back to the host country in time for the opening of the games.
Cultural and Sporting Events
The Stadium is also the site of other athletic events and music concerts throughout the summer. When they take place, they are always a popular venue for both visitors and locals alike.
In the past the Stadium has been host to such musical artists as Bob Dylan, Depeche Mode, The Cure, The Stranglers, Culture Club, Bonny Tyler, REM, Tina Turner, Black Sabbath and believe it or not even the Harlem Globetrotters have played basketball here. These events are an experience that should not be missed if you are lucky enough to be visiting at the time.
Remember that the Stadium is open to the sky so when visiting take appropriate precautions depending on the time of year. In the summer months, the marble can become very hot so the best times to visit are early morning or late afternoon. Always bring a bottle of water, a sun hat, and other suitable sun protection. Also keep in mind that Greece isn’t sunny all year around. During winter months the steps can become very slippery so you are advised to take precautions if the weather is rainy.
The Panathenaic Stadium is definitely one of the country’s most famous landmarks and tourist attractions. But unlike many others which have their origins in previous millennia, it is actually used for sports and cultural events just like it would have been all those centuries ago.
Remember that Greece has many attractions, most of them dating from thousands of years ago. It is a country steeped in tradition and culture and well worth a visit. The Panathenaic Stadium is probably one of the best historic sport constructions for a visitor to see, having been rebuilt in relatively modern times.
It is amazing that a structure, having its roots in the days of Socrates and Plato was first used in 329 BC, over 2,300 years ago, for sports events. It has now been tastefully renovated and is used regularly for sport and cultural activities just like it was when it was originally built.