The Olympic Games and the Pan Athenian Stadium - Athens
Last Updated: 28th Apr 2012
The ancient Olympics were dedicated to the Gods and took place near their ‘home’ on Mt Olympus in the north of Greece. Athens held similar games in their city dedicated to Athena, their patron Goddess and sister of Zeus. After the decline of the Ancient games, they were revived by the Frenchman Pierre Coubertin who decided to host the first Modern Olympics in Athens, capital of the country who gave birth to the Olympic ideals. Athens then went on again to famously host the 2004 Games which were a roaring success and flew in the face of all who believed that that Greeks were not capable of organizing such a huge world-wide event. The modern Olympic Stadium is a little outside the city center but you can travel there via metro. Athens is just one of the Olympic Cities Contiki Tours regularly visits.
Pan Athenian Stadium
The original stadium on this site was constructed somewhere around 330BC and was used in games to celebrate the Goddess Athena. It was then renovated many times before it was used for the first Modern Olympics in 1896 and then also utilized again as the home of archery and finishing point of the Marathon in the 2004 Games. You have to travel much further north through Greece to Olympia to see the site of the Ancient Olympics.
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Just a note on this:
“You have to travel much further north through Greece to Olympia to see the site of the Ancient Olympics” -
Mount Olympus (the mythical home of the Gods) is in the North/Centre of Greece, where as Olympia, the sight of the ancient Olympics themselves, is about 250km south-west of Athens.