Panathenaic Stadium: the first modern Greek stadium, the epitome of Greek Revival concept
After Greece was liberated from the Ottomans, wealthy Greek merchants fled to homeland and tried to restore ruins, houses, monuments, churches. As soon as the first phase of Greek modernisation took place, then the phase of internalisation appeared: Greece had to join global markets. So, an exhibition was organised in Athens.
Since Greece was a brand new country and a promising one, investors like Zappas and Averoff decided to fund and rebuilt ancient Roman theatre that existed near Ardettos hill, as well building a new mansion for hosting international events. Moreover, Zappas bought the area that today is named National Garden, so as Athenians have their afternoon walk, just like their king did, at the place where the Presidential Guard is today.
Panathenaic Stadium was initially constructed around 330 BC. During Roman times, Herodes funded the reconstruction (since Sylla Athens’ invasion had destroyed many monuments), around 139-144 AD. So, the tomb of Herodes dominated the hilltop left of the entrance, like the Filopappou monument.
During the Christian times, the stadium area was used for rites, as mentioned by european travellers, that were visiting Greece during Grand Tour.
So, until 1870 that the rebirth of Olympic Games was not born as an idea yet, the stadium was destroyed. The site was also excavated by Ernst Ziller in 1869, and the reconstruction plan was made by architect Anastasios Metaxas. The main material was pentelic marble.
Today anyone can run around the stadium, since the hill around the stadium is easily accessed. For the stadium there is a ticket of 5 euros.
To schedule a visit and for additional information pls contact Mrs Denise Panagopoulou and Panagiota Sabatakaki from Monday to Friday 10:00-13:00 Tel: + 302107522984