Apart from a feat of engineering for its time, the dam is still unique in the world in that it is entirely covered in Penteli marble, the same material as the Parthenon, to show the connection with the city, and continuity between past and present.
The dam served its purpose until 1959; by then, the capital's population had significantly increased, and a greater reserve was needed. It is quite interesting that, if used as a water resource for the city today, the dam would be empty in just a few days.
Though 'useless' as a water reserve, Lake Marathon has been the most important point of interest for the town of Marathon in the past decades, attracting visitors from Attica as the perfect getaway, thanks to its proximity to downtown Athens and its breathtaking views.Over the years,it has slowly transformed into one of Attica's ten wetlands, boasting a host of rare species and greatly contributing together with the wetland of the Schinias National Reserve to the biodiversity of the region.
The café at the dam is quite popular with Athenians, as the perfect conclusion to a sightseeing tour of the archaeological sites, or after a dip into the azure waters of one of the two Blue Flag beaches nearby.