This incredible stadium stands at the birthplace of the (ancient and modern) Olympic Games and has been in use for hundreds of years, for standard athletics events and historically for Roman style gladiator tournaments. It’s impressive structure is built entirely from Pentelic marble.
We started by walking around the outside of the track, admiring the many rows of benches and sheer size of the stadium.
During this walk, we came across the thrones for the king and queen to sit and watch the spectacles from the best possible seats. The benches directly next to these thrones are cut more smoothly, to provide comfort seating for their whole family and friends.
Continuing round, we walked up the many steps to he top of the stadium at the far end of the track, to get amazing views over the site. Even though we visited on a Saturday, it was suprisingly empty, with just a few other people wandering around.
Next, we headed down to a tunnel leading out of the main stadium. This tunnel was used both to deliver athletes, gladiators and wild beasts to the stadium, and later as changing rooms for the early modern Olympic Games. Today, visitors can explore the original tunnel and walk through into a small museum about the Olympics. Of particular interest is the huge collection of posters and Olympic torches.
For tourists, it is a must-see sight in Athens, both for its historic significance and grandeur. I would highly recommend picking up the free audio guide at the entrance, which gives detailed information about the stadium and its history.