the Ancient Stadium

The Panathenaiko stadium as seen today
the Panathenaic Stadium was built on Ardittus hill next to the Ilissos river. In 330 BC Lykourgos built this stadium of stone. In 140 AD Herod Atticus renovated it, adding marble and a majestic Propylaia. The track has a length of 204 m. and a width of 33.36 m. The course was marked out by herms instead of ordinary distance markers. The herms were square columns with the busts of Dionysios and Apollon.

Only four of these columns have been found. The Panathenaic Games were held in the stadium and included all the usual contests. The winner's trophy was an amphora, which contained olive oil from Athena's olive tree.

In 1896, with the revival of the institution of the Olympic Games, the first games were held here 1,500 years after the final ancient Olympic games. Soon, in the year 2004, Panathenaic stadium will be the starting point for the Olympic Games of Athens with the ceremony of the"Holly Flame".
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Photos and informations taken from "Athens - Attica"
(Toubis Editions)
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