Athens Greece, 1896

The first international Olympic Games of the modern era were held in the birthplace of the ancient Olympic Games, Greece.  Athens was chosen unanimously as the host city during a congress organised by Pierre de Coubertin at the Sorbonne, Paris on June 23 1894.

In holding the congress, de Coubertin’s wish was to present his plans for a resurrection of the Olympic Games to sports societies from 11 countries. The congress accepted his proposal but disagreed that the date of the first Games should be 1900, to coincide with the Paris Universal Exposition. They were concerned that such a long wait would erode public interest and opted instead to hold the first Olympic Games in 1896. The International Olympic Committee was also instituted during the congress.

Athens hosted the Games for a second time in 2004.