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“A Pivotal Moment in European history”

Marathon Battlefield and Museum
Rio
Level Contributor
52 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
“A Pivotal Moment in European history”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 November 2013

Marathon is a small village close to the sea, about 50km from Athens. The area was the stage of the first encounter on the Greek mainland between the Persians and the Greeks. It was the culmination of the first attempt by Persia to conquer Greece in 490 BC. The greek victory captured the collective imagination of the Greeks.

A ceremonial funeral mound of the legendary 192 Athenian dead and the loyal Plataeans was erected on the battlefield and it is still there for everyone to pay homage to those heroes of a pivotal moment for the history of Europe. There is also a Marathon Museum. One is far from the other and as many museums and archeological sites in Greece they close before 3:00 PM.

Unfortunately the city of Marathon has not realized yet the brand they have in their hand and that people from all over the world are willing to visit the city for historical reasons. So, why not have more flexible schedules ? Also, as usual information is scarce in many Greek historical attractions. If my greek wife and I had difficulty in obtaining information around Marathon I can imagine the effort for tourists without knowledge of the greek language. Probably, if you have interest in visiting the area the best approach is to be with an organized tour.

Perhaps, the battle became more famous as the inspiration for the Marathon race. The legend of a Greek messenger running to Athens with news of the victory became the inspiration for this athletic event, introduced at the 1896 Athens Olympics. Presently, it is possible to participate on the marathon event organized by the Hellenic Athletics Federation, the Athens Classic Marathon, following the original track and ending at the Panathenaic stadium in Athens. It is held every year in November.

The Battle of Marathon was a watershed in the Greco-Persian wars. The following two hundred years saw the rise of the Classical Greek civilization, which has been enduringly influential in western society.

Visited November 2013
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3 Thank Luiz R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Minnesota
Level Contributor
730 reviews
596 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1,414 helpful votes
“Marathon museum and battlefield review.”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 July 2011

We visited the Marathon battlefield and associated museum our first day in Greece. The museum is a bit tricky to find, located off the main road to Marathon which was itself a bit of a problematic journey from the airport. Signage is adequate but not excellent. It's important to note that the museum is really focused on the archeological excavations around Marathon and not the battle itself, although the final atrium is dedicated solely to finds associated with the military conflict . Included in this are the remnants from the marble trophy erected after the defeat of the Persians and numerous finds from the Athenian and Plataian tombs. Just next to the museum are some Helladic tombs from the 2nd Century BC that appear to be freshly excavated.

The battlefield itself is on the opposite side of the road; most people will come here to see the Tomb of the Athenians. Historical information is scant although the grounds appeared well kept. There is a statue of Miltiades (Athenian commander) at the entrance and walking paths around the tomb. Of note, both the museum and Athenian tomb are part of a larger complex of archeological sites around the area which include ancient settlements, athletic destinations, and monasteries.

I certainly don't regret making the trip here on our way to Delphi, but there was very little that increased my knowledge of the battle (admittedly my main reason for making the voyage) and I don't have enough of a passion for archeology to make up for the somewhat limited finds on display in the museum. Recommended for those probably with a zeal for my aforementioned ambivalence; others may want to incorporate something else with a trip here or visit the War Museum for a more academic view of the battle itself.

Visited June 2011
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8 Thank midway42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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