A few assorted photos of Athens, Greece This will be the last post of Athens photos. Phew! I bet you are relieved! The Panathenaic Stadium (also known as the Kallimármaro, meaning the “beautifully marbled”), is a multi-purpose stadium in Athens. It hosted the first modern Olympic Games in 1896. Reconstructed from the remains of an ancient Greek stadium, the Panathenaic is the only stadium in the world built entirely of marble (from Mount Penteli) and is one of the oldest in the world. This was taken on the pedestrian walkway, along one side of the foot of the Acropolis hill. I’m sure in the summer there are lots of street performers. Orange and lemon trees were in fruit and they are everywhere. Even some olives were still on the trees along the Acropolis hill. This photo doesn’t do the church justice. It’s actually quite lovely. Just at the entrance of Plaka are the remains of the Church of St. Nicodemus. It’s been a Russian Orthodox church since it was purchased by the Tsar of Russia in 1852. This church is the largest remaining medieval building in Athens and was founded by Stefan Likodemou in 1030 AD. It has been damaged by earthquakes and shellfire several times and rebuilt.There was no way to enter the structure but inside are are Russian embroideries and well known female religious chanters practice here often. Under the St. Nikodemos Square are remains of Roman baths (circa 2nd Cent. AD). Perhaps these bodies are quite clean? St. Nikodemos, is also known as Aghia Triada. Its detached belfry was a late 19 century addition and the gift of Tsar Alexander II. This Anglican church is just a block from St. Nikodemos. Saint Paul’s in Athens was one of the earliest foreign churches in Greece, it serves English speaking residents. Consecrated on Palm Sunday in 1843, it is located close to the Acropolis. It’s also about fifteen minutes’ walking distance from the Areopagus, the place where St. Paul spoke with the Athenians of his day.There are many memorials at the church, but one of the most interesting is a human heart. The heart of Frank Abney Hastings was immured in the church and is commemorated with a plaque. His ship, the Karteria, was the 1st steam ship to take part in a naval battle and helped defeat the Turks in 1827 at the Battle of Itea. The Botanical Garden, or The National Garden, was formerly the Royal Gardens. This public park of 15.5 hectares (38 acres) is in in the heart of Athens. It is located directly behind the Greek Parliament building, which was once the Palace. The grounds continue to the Zappeion and across from the Panathenaiko Olympic Stadium, home of the 1896 Games. Notice the orange trees in the background. The Zappeion, located in the National Gardens, was the first building to be erected specifically for the revival of the Olympic Games in the modern world. Unfortunately, its benefactor, Evangelis Zappas, did not live to see it built. The Zappeion was used during the 1896 Summer Olympics as the main fencing hall. A decade later, at the 1906 Intercalated Games, it was the site of the Olympic Village.Today, it is used for meetings and ceremonies, both official and private. National Gardens National Gardens National Gardens National Gardens Did I mention oranges? Everywhere!