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Prefecture: Attica
Metropolitan Area: Athens

38.119 (38°9'11') N lat.
23.961 (23°57'35) E long.
Population: (1991)
 - Total
 - Density¹
 - Rank



sea level
28 m(centre)
around 500 to 800 m
Postal code: 190 07
Area/distance code: 11-30-22940 (030-22940)
Statistical code: 03
Car designation: Y (prev.)
Z pres.
3-letter abbreviation: MRA
Address of administration: 25 Vas. Konstantinou St.
Vari 166 72

Marathon (Greek, Modern: Μαραθώνας Marathona or Marathonas, Ancient/ Katharevousa: Μαραθών, "Marathon") is a town in Greece, the site of the battle of Marathon in 490 BC, in which the Athenian army defeated the Persians. A legendary run of a messenger named Phidippides from Marathon to Athens, a distance of 26.2 miles, after the battle forms the basis for the modern-day marathon race. When the messenger arrived in Athens, he shouted "NENIKIKAMEN" (we were victorious) and died. Later for mourning Athens' soldiers, a mound was made. Today there is a park around this mound.

Marathon (μάραθον) is the Greek word for fennel. It is believed that the town was originally named so because of an abundance of fennel plants in the area.

The sophist and magnate Herodes Atticus was born in Marathon.

In 1925 a dam was constructed by the American company ULEN in a valley above Marathon, in order to ensure water supply for Athens. It was completed in 1930. About 10 km² of forested land were flooded to form Lake Marathon. The Dionysos-Nea Makri road, part of GR-83, passes through a traffic-light-controlled one-lane driveway on the crest of the dam wall. The plain area lies to the southeast.

The beach of Schinias is located southeast of the town: it is a popular windsurfing spot and the Olympic Rowing Center for the 2004 Summer Olympics is also located there.

At the 2004 Summer Olympics Marathon was the starting point for both men and women marathon races.

The rainstorm on September 16, 2005 ruined farmlands and flooded roads as well as houses, buildings and other properties. Lightning struck a house and also caused small forest fires. Crops were also ruined, a road were flooded which firefighters drained out. The rain later dissipated within the evening hours.

Historical population

Year Communal population Change Municipal population
1981 4,841 - -
1991 5,453 612/12.62% 12,979

Other settlements include Limni Marathona which the population is only 16 in 1991.

External links

Northwest: Kapandriti and Varnavas (both communes) North: Grammatiko (commune) Northeast: Grammatiko, Aegean Sea
West: Stamata (commune)
Marathon East: Aegean Sea
Southwest: Rodopoli (commune) South: Nea Makri?

See also