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Panathenaic Stadium, also known as "The Callimarmaron", a classical Greek monument, a venue designed and used for noble competition and fair play of mind and body, lies between the neighborhoods of Mets and Pangrati.
Originally a natural hollow part of the ground between the hills of Agra and Ardettos, over Ilissos River, the place has been turned into a stadium by orator Lykourgos, during the 4th century, for the competitions of the Great Panathinaea festivities, games with nude athletes. The Panathinaea games honored, once more, the protector of the city, goddess Athena.
Kallimarmaron, which means beautiful marble, is the only stadium in the world that has exclusively been made with the renowned Pendeli's white marble. The place underwent multiple reconstructions during Roman times of Herod Atticus before remaining inactive for hundreds of years.
The arena's size and dimensions conform to the ancient Greek model, with hairpin bends instead of open curves. The initial stadium, was able to host 80,000 sitting spectators, while nowadays the capacity is around 45,000 people.
Completely restored by the wealthy Greek benefactor G. Averof and redesigned by architect A. Metaxas and E. Ziller, the stadium was revived in 1896 with great splendour to host the first modern Olympic Games. Since then, major international athletic events have taken place on spot and in the Athens Olympic Games in 2004 hosted both the archery competition and the finishing line of the Marathon.
Panathenaic Stadium is one of the timeless cultural symbols of Athens that witness the most ancient and profound relationship between culture and sports.