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Columns of Olympian Zeus, Athens, 1870

1884. Triumphant entry into Athens

Α national hero with super powers

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Panagis is already in Athens. The shows of strength he carries out suffocately fill the few theaters of the city. Everyone is talking about him. Coutalianos is undoubtedly the hero of these days.

June 10, 1884
In the theater of APOLLO, the wrestler Omer (possibly Turkish) challenges anyone who wishes to come and face him.  A musical orchestra will accompany the wrestling match.
June 5, 1884
Coutalianos wishes to fight in the Panathenaic/ Kalimarmaro stadium and not in a theater, because the managers of the matches are profiting at the expense of the spectators by announcing lies. With such methods, they organize matches and once the tickets are sold they cancel the matches and disappear.
The Panathenaic Stadium in a photo from 1907
May 27, 1884
Coutalianos performed a show of strength to the packed crowd
 Theater of Olympia.

At the junction of Kalamiotou and Evangelistria streets, between the churches of Agia Irini and Panagia Romvi, was the fountain of Kalamiotou. Morosini and the return of the Athenians to the city built this after the destruction of Athens. It is said that a rich Christian, originally from Kalamos, settled in Athens and around 1698 built his residence and in front of it a fountain, which later became known as the Kalamiotou fountain. At the time when Coutalianos had visited Athens, opposite this fountain there was a photography studio. In this studio, the athlete took various commemorative photos, holding his various weights.

Fountain of Kalamiotou.
The neighborhood around the fountain.
The building opposite the fountain. There is a possibility that the photography studio where Coutalianos took his pictures was housed in this old building.
Coutalianos is photographed sitting on the champion’s throne. His famous cannons can be seen at his feet. (Athlitismos, July 8, 1935)
The three cannons are fired at the same time while the athlete is holding them. We got the photo from “Pireorama”, a website about the history of the city of Piraeus.
July 2, 1884
Panagis will perform at the “Paradisos” theater. The proceeds of the collections will be allocated to support the Chatzikostas Orphanage. Immediately after, he will leave to go first to Aigio and then to Patras, where he will give a series of performances.
June 7, 1884
“….I came to Greece to live with honor. I want to leave my bones in my homeland….”
July 8, 1884
“Aristophanes” , May 23, 1884. Cartoon of Greek Prime Minister Charilaos Trikoupis (1832-1896) imitating Coutalianos, playing with a large iron ball with his feet.
Coutalianos thanks the residents of Nafplio for the warm welcome they gave him.
June 10, 1884
PARADISOS THEATER: Coutalianos will perform accompanied by his son Antonios.
APOLLON THEATER: the Turkish wrestler Omer challenges Panagis to fight. If Coutalianos does not respond, then the Turkish athlete will fight with two other Greek athletes
The entrance of the Paradisos theater, in old Athens. (A black arrow marks it)
June 15, 1884
Coutalianos gives performances at Paradisos theater for charity.
May 18, 1884
The newspapers praise Coutalianos. His upcoming performance at the Olympia Theater is advertised.
June 18, 1884
Coutalianos at the Paradisos Theater for another performance. The theater program includes a puppet show, with human-sized puppets that move with a strange mechanism.
May 19, 1884
Since yesterday, Athens has hosted the direct descendant of the hero Herakles. Coutalianos is here and is preparing to give his performance at the Olympia Theater. It is also said that this show will be the only one he will give in the capital of Greece. (Note: The managers of the show falsely advertised that the athlete would give a one-off performance in order to sell out the tickets. The athlete who was unaware of this fraud at the expense of his spectators got angry and avoided working with this gang of mobsters again.)
Photo of the area of ​​the columns of Olympian Zeus (1873). In the center, you can see the gate of Andrian and on the right the columns of Olympian Zeus. The long narrow large building seen in the lower left is the theater of Olympia, which no longer exists. A cafe was housed in the building with the large tiled roof opposite the theater. When Coutalianos performed the shows in the theater of Olympia, many people climbed up on that tiled roof and tried to enjoy the spectacle, without paying a ticket.
May 21, 1884
The arrival of “New Hercules” P. Coutalianos in Athens is expected. People are excited and tickets for the upcoming show are sold out.
July 21, 1884

Coutalianos is already in Patras and giving performances
May 22, 1884
Hymnical description of Coutalianos’ great performance at the Olympia Theater in Athens.
June 24, 1884
Coutalianos stopped his cooperation with the managers who were deceiving the viewers. Now he gives his performances at Paradisos Theater.
June 24, 1884
The proceeds of Coutalianos’ performance will be allocated to support prisoners in “Cockla Prisons”.
Coutalianos who came to Athens by sailboat from the city of Volos, was accompanied by his childhood friend Efstathios Karavangelis. We learend that his friend left and returned back to Volos, where he lives with his family.
May 25, 1884
Description of Coutalianos’ second performance at the Olympia Theater.
June 26, 1884
It is announced that Coutalianos will give three performances in Piraeus. Then he will go to Patras.
June 26, 1884
The poem addressed by the scholar M.M. Papas to Coutalianos, when the latter returned after many years of wandering to his island, Coutali (turkish: Ekinlik ada).
The Prime Minister Charilaos Trikoupis calls Coutalianos to his office to congratulate him in person.
May 27, 1884
 
Coutalianos went to the photography studio located opposite the Kalamiotou fountain in order to be photographed.
May 28, 1884
Enthusiastic description of Koutalianos’ performance at the Olympia Theater. Wild clashes between police and spectators for a place inside the theater.
Athens of the 19th century. This is roughly how the city was when the super athlete Coutalianos visited it.
July 29, 1884
 The athlete returns from Patras to Athens.

Indicative map of Coutalianos movements during the period 1884
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