Posted on April 4th, 2017

The Pléiades 1 Stadium of the Month – Panathenaic Stadium

Last month we found ourselves in the heartland of the United States with a look at one of the oldest baseball stadiums in the world, and for April’s Pléiades 1 Stadium of the Month we travel across the pond with a stop at one of the oldest stadiums in the world, Panathenaic Stadium in Greece.

A 50-cm color image of Panathenaic Stadium in Athens, Greece collected on June 19, 2013 by Pléiades 1B. To see this stadium in SPOT 6/7 1.5-meter resolution and even collected on the same day, check out this month’s feature on SPOTMaps. This image has custom processing and color balancing applied by Apollo Mapping. © CNES 2017, Distribution Airbus Defense and Space / Spot Image S.A., France, all rights reserved.

Name & Its Origin: Panathenaic Stadium was the site of the Panathenaic Games from 330 BC which were held once every four years, much like the modern Olympics, with musical, athletic and equestrian competitions. The word Panathenaic translates roughly as relating to celebrations for the Greek goddess of wisdom, Athena. The stadium is also referred to as Kallimarmaro which means, “beautiful marble,” an homage to the structure’s only construction material.

Location: Panathenaic Stadium is located in central Athens about a half mile (mi) (or 1 kilometer, km) from the Acropolis Museum. The stadium is about 270 feet (82 meters) above sea level and is only 4 mi (6.5 km) from the shores of the Mediterranean Sea.

Stadium Capacity/Size, Architect & Build Date: This Greek stadium appears to have been completed for the 330 BC Panathenaic Games and was built in a natural valley were an informal racecourse had existed since the 6th Century BC. The Athenian statesman Lykourgos is credited with its initial construction and then Heordes Atticus renovated Panathenaic Stadium around 138 AD – including replacing the limestone structure with the marble stones you find here today. Archeological excavation of the stadium started in the 1830s as it fell into ruin during the late 4th Century. Estimates of the stadium’s seating capacity range from 45,000 to 80,000.

Type of Field Surface: The photos and research we have done suggest there is no permanent grass in Panathenaic Stadium. The middle of the structure looks to be a marble landing with a coated race track surrounding it.

Key Sports Teams: It appears that Panathenaic Stadium is only used for special events as it hosted the archery competition and was the finish line for the 2004 Olympic Games marathon. The stadium has also hosted music concerts, opening ceremonies for sporting events and even celebrations for local/national sports teams.

Most Popular Yearly Event: Panathenaic Stadium appears to sit empty for most of its days in the 21st Century with entry permitted to ticket-holding tourists who can also visit the onsite Olympics’ museum.

Fun Factoids: (1) Panathenaic Stadium was the finish line for the world’s first “marathon” where Pheidippides ran from the bridge at Marathon in Attica to announce to his fellow Athenians that victory was theirs over Persian King Darius. As the ancient tale goes, after making the 26.2 mi (42.2 km) sprint to Panathenaic Stadium, Pheidippides collapsed and died of exhaustion. (2) Panathenaic Stadium was the main arena used in the first modern Olympic Games held in Athens in 1896. (3) The marble that adorns the stadium was mined from close by Mount Pentelicus. (4) Panathenaic Stadium has also hosted iconic concerts by stars such as Bob Dylan, REM and Tina Turner.

The Pléiades 1 High-Resolution Satellite Constellation

The Pléiades 1 constellation (or at least part of it!) has been in orbit since December 2011 and if you have not had a chance to check out any sample imagery, take a few moments and have a look at the gallery on our website. If you work with high resolution imagery, you should consider Pléiades 1 for your next geospatial project.

A variety of Pléiades 1 products are available from both a growing archive and as a new collection, including 50-centimeter (cm) pansharpened imagery and 50-cm panchromatic – 2-meter (m) 4-band multispectral bundles. We are happy to discuss the technical specifications, pricing and tasking options available with this satellite constellation.

Working with Pléiades 1 since the launch of the first twin satellite, P1A, we have noticed that:

  • Airbus Defense and Space is able to deliver on their tasking feasibilities.

The Apollo Mapping sales team can answer any questions you might have about the high resolution satellite constellation, Pléiades 1. We can be reached anytime at (303) 993-3863 or

More sample images and technical information about Pléiades 1A and 1B can be found on our website here.

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