March 28, 2011

0 Greece: Panathenaic Stadium

Paul wanted to be sure to see the Panathenaic Stadium, also known as the first modern Olympic Stadium, as the Olympic Games of 1896 were held here.  It was built on the site of the stadium built in the 4th century BC, which hosted athletic competitions for centuries.  It is also the only stadium to be made entirely of marble.

These steps were steep- and no rails!!

The royal boxes after 1908, in the middle of one arm of the horseshoe.

Seats engraved with the names of de Coubertin, who organized the first modern Olympic Games and the IOC of 1894, and Brundage, who paid for a substantial amount of the stadium.
VIP seats in the arc of the horseshoe.

The gate to the vaulted passage through which the athletes entered the stadium.  In ancient times, there was a custom for young unmarried girls to light a bonfire and perform special rituals in order to guarantee getting a good, wealthy, handsome husband within the year.  This ritual ended with them dancing naked around the fire, guarded by old women at the entrances to the passageway.

The royal boxes of 1896, at the center of the horseshoe.

View from the royal boxes of 1896.  Note the schoolchildren playing- can you imagine having Field Day in this stadium?!?!?!

Note the 1908 royal boxes in the center.

The horseshoe design was first developed when the ancient stadium was reconditioned between 144 and 140 BC.  The rows of spectator seats were added at this time as well. 

One side of the Two-Headed Hermes.  This one is the young athlete, who looks towards the spectators.

The other side of the Two-Headed Hermes.  This side depicts an old man, looking out across the field. 

The Olympic rings!

View from the top!

From halfway up the stands.  I just wanted to show the Acropolis in the distance.

ATLANTA 1996!!!!  Whoo-hoo!!!

Paul's a winner!!

I'm a winner, too!

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