This huge marble stadium stands on the exact site of the original Panathenaic stadium built on this site in 330 BC. It underwent several restorations in an antiquity. Hadrian (AD 76-138) rebuilt it for use in gladiatorial games, then wealthy Roman benefactor Herodes Atticus rebuilt in white marble in time for the Panathenaic games in AD 144. The stadium then fell into disrepair during late antiquity with much of the stone being stripped down and used as building materials or burnt for lime.
Finally, in 1895 it was rebuilt at tremendous expense for the start of the of the first modern Olympic games that began in 1896. The modern stadium is a faithful replica of the stadium described by Pausanias, built in white Pentelic marble it is 204m long, and 83m wide with seating for 60,000.