by Demetrio Rizzo

After the OAKA, the coast of Athens is the area with the largest number of sports facilities. This is where the most important Olympic facilities are situated, like the Karaiskaki stadium and the so-called SEF close to the Pireaus, the Faliro and the EllenikÚ. In recent years the entire coastal area has been radically transformed, it was once a huge open air tip, now it houses sport and leisure centres and areas to relax.

At the entrance to the Castella peninsula -
Pireaus there are the capital's two largest sport facilities:

  1. the famous Karaiskaki stadium, the seat of the Oplympiakos Pireaus team, rebuilt in 2004 for the Olympic games. It is extremely modern and seats 33,334 under cover;

  2. the futuristic "Irinis ke Filias"stadium (of peace and brotherhood), an enormous indoor stadium that is one of the largest and most attractive in Europe. It was opened in 1985 and has 14,766 seats. During the years it has housed important finals and sport competitions at an international level, i.e. the basket ball world finals of 1988 and the European ones in 1987, which were won by Greece.

Situated between the Olympic area of Pireaus and the Olympic centre of EllenikÚ, this centre is the second most important after the OAKA. It has some vanguard facilities such as the stadium for beach volley ball with 10,000 seats and for taekwondo with 8,000 seats both with futuristic coverings. In the area there are also facilities for sailing competitions and for many other sports. The entire complex is situated inside a large green area which includes well equipped marinas, long promenades and relaxing areas.

The centre has been built in the area where the old airport was situated until not long ago. In the 2004 Olympics it will host the hockey, baseball and softball games. It is made up of a few temporary structures (which will be removed when the Olympics are over), plus hang-gliding facilities with artificial lakes and waterfalls. After the Olympics they will be transformed into leisure areas, as part of a big project to build the biggest and most important city park in Europe.

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©2004 by Demetrio Rizzo.
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