July 9, 2012
We then ventured over to the Panathenaic Stadium, which is located in downtown Athens. The first Olympic competition was held in 1870 and again in 1875. This is the only major stadium in the world built entirely of white marble (from Mount Penteli) and it is one of the oldest stadiums in the world. It originally was built with wooden seating and was re-made in 329 B.C. with the marble; and again was renovated to seat 50,000 people in 140 A.D.
It was refurbished a second time in 1895 and the first "modern" Olympic games were held here in 1896. At one time it seated 80,000 spectators on 50 rows of marble steps; but it currently holds 45,000 spectators.
The stadium was built long before dimensions for athletics venues were standardized and its track and layout follow the ancient hairpin-like model.
|I found this pic on the internet, but you can see the hairpin curves|
They were planning for a concert in the stadium, so we were not able to walk in it... not even for just a closer picture and then walk right back out! He could have seen me walk 50 feet, but no way would he allow me to do it... jerk was on a power trip! No one was even there, he just stood guard of the rope! I have no idea what he thought I could do or wanted to do besides take a picture, he could see me the whole time. Oh well...
|A glimpse of the Olympic Flag|
I have to say that seeing these things in person is amazing. Pictures don't do justice as to the massive size and detail on these ruins.
|Without trying... DT and I seemed to coordinate our clothes on more than one day!|
After leaving the stadium, Lambros, our guide with Private Greece Tours took us to a look-out point. The stadium is at my right elbow; Acropolis at DT's left shoulder and Zeus is behind us. It really was a spectacular view of Athens.
Continued... "Neoclassical Trilogy".