Athens Marathon Tour
In 490 B.C. the Persian imperial fleet landed 100.000 troops in Marathon. Opposite this massive army were just 11.000 Greek soldiers!
The tour starts from the Tomb of Marathon. The tomb is next to the ancient battle field and is dedicated to the 192 Athenian soldiers that died in the battle. According to Herodotus, the vastly outnumbered Greek army managed to push the Persians back to the sea thanks to the strategic intelligence of Greek Commander Miltiades. This victory shaped the fate of todays’ world, since it allowed the Greeks to retain their independence and to set the foundations for the further development of the Western Civilisation.
After the victory an Athenian soldier called Pheidippides run all the way from Marathon to Athens city centre to spread the good news, since there were no smart phones around at that time. Before he died of exhaustion he managed to spell just one word: “Νenikikamen” (We were victorious). The contemporary Athens Marathon is dedicated to that ancient event and therefore it is called Authentic, which means Original. The route of Athens Marathon is the same with the one that Pheidippides run.
After travelling in time, Marathon Run Museum will bring you back to our time! You can see over than 4000 exhibits that record the history of Marathon race from 1896 until today and form a unique historical sporting collection, which could not be found elsewhere than in the birthplace of Marathon road race.
Normally, this tour would continue straight to the finish line of the Athens Marathon race, the Panathenaic Stadium: Kallimarmaro. Athens though is not a normal place, it combines almost everything and this can be proved be our next stop on our way following the footsteps of Pheidippides: the Sanctuary of the Egyptian Gods. Wait, what is going on? Egyptian Gods?
In 1792 the French Consul in Athens, L.S. Fauvel, drew the ruins of the area, on an islet cut off from the land by a canal. The excavations have revealed the extensive complex of the Egyptian gods sanctuary and the luxurious bathhouse (balneum), as well as a l The complex was founded by Herodes Atticus, around 160 AD. The great orator, sophist and benefactor hailed from Marathon and resided here, and the complex was possibly established within his estate.
Later on our Marathon race, we will stop at the Wine Museum in Pallini. Being the only one of its kind in Greece, the Wine Museum occupies a natural cave. It is eight meters below ground, 300 meters long and has a labyrinth-like shape. The Wine Museum presents the history of wine and the life of vine-growers in Santorini from 1660 to 1970. The visitors can learn about the history of wine by viewing semi-mobile and still-life figurines.
After all this stops we can realise, how convenient has been our tour compare to the effort of poor Pheidippides, who fought against the Persians, only to die of exhaustion bringing the good news home. But after all, he is the one whose name and memory will be eternal!
Final stop of this day tour, as stated above, is the Panathenaic Stadium: Kallimarmaro, home of the first Modern Olympics and the place from where the Olympic flame sets up its journey to the cities of the Olympic Games, both Winter and Summer, as well as Paralympics and Youth. It is one of Athens’ landmarks and most popular touristic attractions.