The area of the Panathinaikon stadium was originally a natural ground cavity, by the Illisus River.

On the year of 330-329 B.C. and by initiation of Lycurgus of Athens, a stadium was to be constructed on that site to accommodate the athletic activities of the Panathinea, the greatest of festivities in ancient Athens.

Around 140-144 D.C. the stadium was repaired from Herodus Atticus (an Athens ruler of the Roman Empire) and was later also used as a Roman arena with the addition of a cylindrical wall in its centre.

In the course of its history the stadium had been ruined and lost, only to be rediscovered in an excavation in the year of 1870 and to be later restored in order to accommodate the first modern Olympics in 1896.

For its rebuilding, marble from Penteli was used.
Penteli is one of the mountains surrounding Attica, rich in fine marble up to this day, from which the Parthenon and other temples and famous monuments have been constructed with.
Hence, the Panathinaikon Stadion is more commonly known as the ‘Kallimarmaron’ (made of fine marble).

Today, the stadium is mostly a tourist attraction, but is still used on various special occasions.

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