Right here, at the end of the 19th century, the modern Olympic Games were born. Then the stadium was built, over the ruins of the old stadium that stood here from the 4th century AD until the 2nd century AD.
After the current stadium was built, the first Olympic Games of the modern era took place here, in Athens, in 1896. In the Olympic Games of 2004, again in Athens, the stadium was used for some of the events, and was also the endpoint for the long marathon.
Today, the stadium holds up to 45,000 viewers, and is used for concerts, sporting events, and a reception for Greek sport teams that win in international competitions.
While dignitaries back then sat on wooden chairs, commoner watched on the slopes that surrounded the stadium.
In 140 AD, the stadium was renovated. This was during the time of the Roman ruler, Herodes Atticus. At this point the stadium was expanded to the size of 204 by 83 meters, and made room for about 50,000 viewers.
During the Roman renovations, marble seating was added to the stadium, which gave it its nickname, Kallimarmaro, in Greek meaning "beautiful marble design."
In the Middle Ages, the stadium was neglected and became unusable. Most of the marble was taken and used as decoration for other buildings around the city.
Only towards the end of the 19th century was the stadium revamped, and put back to use, in preparations for hosting the first modern Olympics, in 1896. In this renovation the seats were re-covered with white marble, that was brought from the Mountain of Penteli, and this became the only stadium in the world build completely of marble.