Athens The Sensational capital Of Greece; “Athens (plural) ( /ˈæθɪnz/; modern Greek: Αθήνα, Athina, IPA: , Katharevousa: Ἀθῆναι, Athine, old Greek: Ἀθῆναι, Athēnai (plural)), the capital and largest city the Greece, constrain the Attica periphery; as among the world’s earliest cities, that is recorded history spans about 3,400 years.

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The Greek capital has a populace of 745,514 (in 2001) in ~ its governmental limits and a soil area the 39 km2 (15 sq mi). The urban area the Athens extends beyond the bureaucratic city borders with a populace of 3,130,841 (in 2001) and a soil area of 412 km2 (159 sq mi). Follow to Eurostat, the Athens larger Urban region (LUZ) is the 7th most populous LUZ in the europe Union (the 4th most populous funding city the the EU) through a population of 4,013,368 (in 2004).

A cosmopolitan metropolis, contemporary Athens is main to economic, financial, industrial, political, and cultural life in Greece and also it is rated as an alpha- world city. In 2008, Athens to be ranked the world’s 32nd wealthiest city by purchase power and the 25th many expensive in a UBS study.

Classical Athens…

… to be a an effective city-state. A facility for the arts, learning and also philosophy, home of Plato’s Academy and Aristotle’s Lyceum, the is widely described as the cradle of west civilization and also the birthplace of democracy, largely due to the influence of its social and political achievements during the 5th and 4th centuries BC ~ above the remainder of the then recognized European continent.

The heritage of the timeless era is still obvious in the city, represented by a number of ancient monuments and also works that art, the most famed of all being the Parthenon, widely taken into consideration a key landmark of at an early stage Western civilization. The city also retains a vast variety of Roman and also Byzantine monuments, as well as a smaller variety of remaining footrest monuments projecting the city’s long history across the centuries.

Athens is home to 2 UNESCO civilization Heritage Sites, the Acropolis the Athens and the medieval Daphni Monastery. Landmarks of the contemporary era, dating ago to the establishment of Athens as the funding of the elevation Greek state in 1830, include the Hellenic conference (19th century) and also the Athens Trilogy consisting of the national Library of Greece, the Athens University, and the Academy that Athens. Athens to be the host city the the an initial modern-day Olympic gamings in 1896, and 108 years later it welcomed residence the 2004 Summer Olympics. Athens is residence to the nationwide Archeological Museum, special the world’s biggest collection of ancient Greek antiquities, and the brand-new Acropolis Museum.


In old Greek, the name of Athens was: Ἀθῆναι , connected tο the name of the goddess Athena (Attic Ἀθηνᾶ and Ionic Ἀθήνη ). The city’s name remained in the plural, like those of Θῆβαι (Thēbai), Μυκῆναι (Mukēnai), and also Δελφοί (Delphoi).

An etiological myth explaining exactly how Athens acquired this name was fine known amongst ancient Athenians and even ended up being the template of the sculpture on the West pediment the the Parthenon. Both Athena and also Poseidon requested to it is in patrons that the city and to provide their name to it, for this reason they competed with one an additional for the honor, giving the city one gift each. Poseidon created a saltwater feather by to mark the ground through his trident, symbolizing marine power. Athena created the olive tree, symbolizing peace and prosperity. The Athenians, under their leader Cecrops, welcomed the olive tree and named the city after Athena.

In the 19th century, Ἀθῆναι to be formally re-adopted together the city’s name. Because the official abandonment of Katharevousa Greek in the 1970s, the demotic Αθήνα (Athína / ) has become the city’s main name.


The oldest known human presence in Athens is the cavern of Schist which has actually been dated in between the 11th and also 7th millennium BC. Athens has been continuously populated for at least 7000 years.

By 1400 BC the settlement had become an essential center the the Mycenaean civilization and also the Acropolis to be the website of a major Mycenaean fortress who remains have the right to be well-known from part of the characteristics Cyclopean walls. Unlike various other Mycenaean centers, such as Mycenae and Pylos, it is not recognized whether Athens suffered devastation in around 1200 BC, an event often attributed to a Dorian invasion, and the Athenians always maintained the they were “pure” Ionians through no Dorian element. However, Athens, like numerous other Bronze period settlements, went into economic decline for approximately 150 years following this.

Iron period burials, in the Kerameikos and other locations, are frequently richly detailed for and also demonstrate that from 900 BC onwards Athens was among the top centers that trade and prosperity in the region; as were Lefkandi in Euboea and Knossos in Crete. This position might well have actually resulted native its central location in the Greek world, its for sure stronghold ~ above the Acropolis, and its access to the sea, which provided it a natural advantage over inland rivals such as Thebes and also Sparta.

Classical Athens came to be the top city of old Greece in the fifth century BC, with its cultural achievements laying the foundations of west civilization. That was eventually overcome by its competitor city-state that Sparta. By the end of late Antiquity, the city experienced decline followed by restore in the second fifty percent of the middle Byzantine period (9th–10th century AD) and was reasonably prosperous throughout the Crusades, benefiting indigenous Italian trade. In 1453 it was conquered by the ottoman Empire and entered a long duration of decline.

Akropolis in 1821

The Acropolis in 1821

Athens re-emerged in the 19th century together the capital of the elevation Greek state. The city to be then a decadent village but it was selected to it is in the capital of Greece because of the proposal the Kleanthis and also Schaubert and a strong need to combine the glorious past of ancient Greece in the new state’s rationale. The new city’s setup was suggest the incorporation of the ancient remains in the new city axes. The main component of the existing village was on the Parthenon. The French and also the German historical schools search to highlight the classic remains, including one that the most essential symbols of beginning for western civilization: the Parthenon. Worrying the very first modern city plans, a triangle defined by important places—the Parthenon, the old cemetery the Kerameikos, or the new palace that the Bavarian king—demonstrated a historic extension that instantly related modern-day Athens come the glorious time of old Greece.

Neoclassicism, the international style of this epoch, was the architectural format through which Bavarian, French, and Greek architects such as Hansen, Klenze, Boulanger, or Kaftantzoglou design the very first important public structures of the brand-new capital. In 1896 Athens organized the an initial modern Olympic Games. Throughout the 1920s a number of Greek refugees, expelled indigenous Asia Minor after ~ the Greco-Turkish war (1919-1922), swelled Athens’ population; nevertheless, it was most an especially following civilization War II, and from the 1950s and also 1960s, the the population of the city exploded, and Athens skilled a gradual development in every directions.

In the 1980s the became evident that smog indigenous factories and also an ever-increasing fleet that automobiles, as well as a absence of adequate cost-free space due to over congestion, had developed into the city’s most important challenge. A series of anti-pollution procedures taken by the city’s authorities in the 1990s, combined with a substantial improvement of the city’s facilities (including the Attiki Odos motorway, the growth of the Athens Metro, and also the brand-new Athens global Airport), substantially alleviated pollution and also transformed Athens right into a much an ext functional city.


Athens sprawls throughout the main plain that Attica the is regularly referred to together the Attica or Athens Basin. The basin is tied by four huge mountains; mountain Aegaleo come the west, mount Parnitha to the north, mount Penteli to the northeast, and Mount Hymettus to the eastern of the Athens urban Area and likewise the extension of the Athens basin is the Thriasian plain west the the capital. The Saronic Gulf lies in the southwest. Mountain Parnitha is the tallest of the 4 mountains (1,413 m (4,636 ft)) and also it has been declared a nationwide park.

Athens is built approximately a number of hills. Lycabettus is among the tallest hills of the city proper and provides a view of the whole Attica Basin. The geomorphology of Athens is understood to be one of the most complexes in the human being due come its mountains and causes a temperature inversion phenomenon which, in addition to the failure of the Greek federal government to control industrial pollution, is responsible because that the wait pollution difficulties the city has recently faced. (Los Angeles and also Mexico City also suffer from similar geomorphology turning back problems).


Athens has actually a Subtropical Mediterranean climate (Köppen climate group Csa) if the southern Athens area experience a hot semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification BSh), with very long durations of sunshine throughout the year (2884 hrs of sunshine per year in ~ Thision meteorological terminal 1961–1990) and also with the greatest quantities of precipitation mainly arising from mid-October come mid-April; any kind of precipitation is sparse during summer and it generally takes the type of showers and/or thunderstorms. Due to its place in a rain shadow because of mountain Parnitha, the Athenian climate is much drier compared to most of the rest of Mediterranean Europe. The mountainous northern suburbs, for their part, suffer a somewhat differentiated climatic pattern, with usually lower temperatures. Fog is very unusual in the city center yet it is an ext frequent come the east, behind the Hymettus hill range.

Winter is mild, v a January mean of 8.9 °C (48.0 °F); in Nea Filadeflia and 10.3 °C (50.5 °F) in Hellenikon; Snowfalls space not common and also these execute not normally lead to significant if any, disruption. Nonetheless, the city has actually experienced heavy snowfalls in the previous decade. During the blizzards of march 1987; February 1992; 4–6 January 2002; 12–13 February 2004; January 2006; and 16–18 February 2008, eye blanketed huge parts that the city area, causing havoc throughout much the the city.

Spring and fall (autumn) are considered ideal seasons for sightseeing and also all kinds of out activities.

Summers can be specifically hot and at times vulnerable to smog and also pollution-related problems (however, much much less so 보다 in the past). Follow to the national Observatory that Athens, the median daytime best temperature in Thision (period 2001–2009) for the month the July is 35.1 °C (95.2 °F)

Athens is notorious for that heatwaves developing generally during the month of July and/or august when warm air masses sweep throughout Greece from the south or the southwest. On together days temperatures soar end 38 °C (100 °F).

The city that Athens is impacted by the urban heat island impact in some locations which is led to by human activity, altering its temperatures contrasted to the surrounding rural areas, which has actually detrimental effects on energy usage, expenditure for cooling, and also health. The urban warm island of the city has actually been found partially responsible also for alterations of the climatological temperature time-series of particular Athens meteorological stations as result of its affect on the temperatures and also the temperature trends tape-recorded by some meteorological stations. Top top the other hand, certain meteorological station such as the nationwide Garden station and Thiseio meteorological station room less impacted or carry out not experience the urban warmth island.

European Temperature record

Athens hold the document of the highest possible temperature ever being tape-recorded in Europe that 48.0 °C (118.4 °F) which was taped in Elefsina and Tatoi suburbs of Athens top top 10 July 1977 according to the civilization Meteorological Organisation.

Urban Landscape


The city the Athens has a range of different architectural styles, varying from Greco-Roman, Neo-Classical, to modern. Castle are regularly to be discovered in the very same areas, together Athens is not marked by a power of architecture style. Numerous of the many prominent structures of the city space either Greco-Roman or neo-classical in styling. Few of the neo-classical frameworks to be found are public buildings erected throughout the mid-nineteenth century, under the guidance of Theophil Freiherr von Hansen and Ernst Ziller, and also include the Athens Academy, Athens City Hall, Greek Parliament, Old conference (1875–1932) (Now the National historic Museum),<41> college of Athens, and also Zappeion Hall.

Mela building in Kotzia square. Panoramic check out of the Parthenon.

Modern architecture

The left apartment structure constructed in the 1930s is an example of modern architecture in Athens, if the right, built in the 1950s, combines modern and classical elements.

Beginning in the 1930s, the global Style and also other architectural movements such together Bauhaus and Art Deco started to exert an affect on almost all Greek architects, and also many buildings both public and also private were constructed in accordance v these styles. Localities through a good number of such structures include Kolonaki, and some areas of the center of the city; neighborhoods occurred in this period include Kypseli.

In the 1950s and also 1960s during the vast extension and breakthrough of Athens, modern architecture play a very important role. The center of Athens was largely rebuilt, causing the demolition the a variety of neoclassical buildings. The architects of this era employed products such as glass, marble, and aluminum, while some blended contemporary and timeless elements. After human being War II, worldwide known architects to have actually designed and built in the city contained Walter Gropius, v his style for the united state Embassy, and, amongst others, Eero Saarinen, in his postwar style for the eastern terminal that the Ellinikon Airport.

Notable Greek architects the the 1930s–1960s contained Konstantinos Doxiadis, Dimitris Pikionis, Pericles A. Sakellarios, Aris Konstantinidis, and also others.


Street in Plaka. Omonoia Square.

The Municipality of Athens is split into numerous districts: Omonoia, Syntagma, Exarcheia, Agios Nikolaos, Neapolis, Lykavittos, Lofos Strefi, Lofos Finopoulou, Lofos Filopappou, Pedion Areos, Metaxourgeio, Aghios Kostantinos, Larissa Station, Kerameikos, Psiri, Monastiraki, Gazi, Thission, Kapnikarea, Aghia Irini, Aerides, Anafiotika, Plaka, Acropolis, Pnyka, Makrygianni, Lofos Ardittou, Zappeion, Aghios Spyridon, Pangration, Kolonaki, Dexameni, Evaggelismos, Gouva, Aghios Ioannis, Neos Kosmos, Koukaki, Kynosargous, Fix, Ano Petralona, Kato Petralona, Rouf, Votanikos, Profitis Daniil, Akadimia Platonos, Kolonos, Kolokynthou, Attikis Square, Lofos Skouze, Sepolia, Kypseli, Aghios Meletios, Nea Kypseli, Gyzi, Polygono, Ampelokipoi, Panormou-Gerokomeio, Pentagono, Ellinorosson, Kato Filothei, Ano Kypseli, Tourkovounia-Lofos Patatsou, Lofos Elikonos, Koliatsou, Thymarakia, Kato Patisia, Treis Gefyres, Aghios Eleftherios, Ano Patisia, Kypriadou, Prompona, Aghios Panteleimonas, Pagrati, Goudi, Ilisia


Omonoia Square (Greek: Πλατεία Ομονοίας) is the earliest square in Athens. That is surrounded by hotels and also fast food outlets and contains a train station offered by the Athens Metro and the Ilektrikos, accordingly named Omonoia Station. The square often becomes the emphasis for the solemn event of sporting victories, as checked out after the country’s to win of the Euro 2004 and the Eurobasket 2005 tournaments.


(Greek: Μεταξουργείο) is a ar of Athens, Greece. The neighborhood is situated south the the historical facility of Athens, in between Kolonos come the east and also Kerameikos come the west, and also north that Gazi. Metaxourgeio is generally described as a shift neighborhood. ~ a long period of abandonment in the late 20th century, the area is gaining a reputation together an artistic and also fashionable neighborhood due to the opened of many art galleries, museums, and also trendy restaurants and cafes. Moreover, local efforts to beautify and also invigorate the ar have reinforced a budding sense of community and artistic expression. Anonymous art pieces containing quotes and sayings in both English and ancient Greek have started springing up throughout the neighborhood, include statements such as “Art for arts sake” (Τεχνη τεχνης χαριν). Guerilla gardening has additionally helped come beautify this area, taking advantage of the ample sunshine in Greece.

Psiri and also Gazi

Technopolis, Gazi.

The reviving Psiri (Greek: Ψυρρή) ar – a.k.a. Athens’s “meatpacking district” – is dotted with renovated previous mansions, artists’ spaces, and little gallery areas. A variety of its renovated buildings additionally now organize a wide variety of fashionable bars, making that a hotspot for the city in the last decade, when a number of live music restaurants recognized as “rebetadika”, ~ rebetiko, a unique type of music the blossomed in Syros and Athens from the 1920s until the 1960s, are additionally to it is in found. Rebetiko is admired by many, and as a result, rebetadika are regularly crammed with human being of all ages who will certainly sing, dance, and also drink it rotates dawn.

The Gazi (Greek: Γκάζι) area, among the recent in full redevelopment, is located approximately a historic gas factory, currently converted into the Technopolis social multiplex, and additionally includes artists’ areas, a number of small clubs, bars, and restaurants, and also Athens’ nascent “Gay Village”. The metro’s system’s recent growth to the west suburbs of the city has brought easier accessibility to the area due to the fact that spring 2007, together the blue line currently stops at Gazi (Kerameikos station).


View the Syntagma Square and Hellenic Parliament; Old royal House.

Syntagma Square, (Greek: Σύνταγμα/Constitution Square), is the capital’s main and largest square, lying surrounding to the Greek parliament (the former Royal Palace) and also the city’s most provided hotels. Ermou Street, an approximately one kilometer-long pedestrian road connecting Syntagma Square come Monastiraki, has actually traditionally to be a consumer paradise because that both Athenians and also tourists. Complete with fashion shops and shopping centers promoting most international brands, it currently finds itself in the top 5 most expensive shopping roadways in Europe and also the tenth most expensive sleeve street in the world. Nearby, the renovated army Fund building in Panepistimiou Street consists of the “Attica” department store and also several upmarket designer stores.

Plaka, Monastiraki, and also Thission

The temple of Hephaestus in the central district that Thission. Kolonaki Square. See of parts of the city’s northern suburbs at night. Marousi suburb in north Athens

Plaka (Greek: Πλάκα), lying just beneath the Acropolis, is famous for its numerous neoclassical architecture, making up one of the most scenic districts the the city. It stays a traditionally element tourist destination with a variety of picturesque tavernas, live performances, and street salesmen. Surrounding Monastiraki (Greek: Μοναστηράκι), because that its part, is famous for its wire of tiny shops and also markets, and its overfilled flea market and also tavernas specializing in souvlaki. An additional district notably well known for the student-crammed, stylish cafés is Theseum or Thission (Greek: Θησείο), lying simply west of Monastiraki. Thission is residence to the ancient Temple the Hephaestus, stand atop a little hill. This area additionally has a picturesque 11th Century byzantine church, as well as a 15th Century ottoman mosque.


The Kolonaki (Greek: Κολωνάκι) area, at the base of Lycabettus hill, is complete of boutiques catering to well-heeled customers by day, and bars and an ext fashionable restaurants by night, however at other points additionally a wide selection of arts galleries and also museums. This is often regarded as among the an ext prestigious locations of the capital.


Exarcheia (Greek: Εξάρχεια), situated north the Kolonaki, has actually a combined reputation as the current or present location that the city’s anarchist scene and as a culturally active student quarter with countless cafés, bars, and also bookshops. Exarcheia is home to the Athens Polytechnic and the National historical Museum; it likewise contains many important structures of number of 20th-century styles: Neoclassicism, arts Deco, and also Early Modernism (including Bauhaus influences).


Piraeus city, now within the Athens urban area

The Athens city Area is composed of 73 densely inhabited municipalities, sprawling around the city in practically all directions. According to their geographic location in relation to the city that Athens, the suburbs are separated into four zones; the northern suburbs (including Ekali, Nea Erythrea, Agios Stefanos, Drosia, Dionysos, Kryoneri, Kifissia, Maroussi, Pefki, Lykovrisi, Heraklio, Glyka Nera, Vrilissia, Melissia, Pendeli, Halandri, Aghia Paraskevi, Psychiko and also Filothei); the southerly suburbs, (including Palaio Faliro, Elliniko, Glyfada, Alimos, Voula Argyroupoli, Ilioupoli and the southernmost suburb the Vouliagmeni); the east suburbs, (including Acharnes, Zografou, Vyronas, Kaisariani, Cholargos, and also Papagou; and the western suburbs (including Peristeri, Ilion, Egaleo, Petroupoli and Nikaia).

The Athens city coastline, prolonging from the major commercial harbor of Piraeus come the southernmost suburb the Varkiza for some 25 kilometres (20 mi), is likewise connected come the city facility by a tram.

In the northern suburb the Maroussi, the upgraded key Olympic complex (known by its Greek acronym OAKA) constrain the skyline. The entirety area has been redeveloped according to a architecture by the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, through steel arches, landscaped gardens, fountains, futuristic glass, and a landmark new blue glass roof i beg your pardon was included to the key stadium. A 2nd Olympic complex, next to the sea in ~ the beach of Kallithea (Faliron), additionally features modern-day stadia, shops, and an elevated esplanade. Work is underway to transform the grounds of the old Athens plane – called Hellinikon – in the southern suburbs, into one the the biggest landscaped parks in Europe, come be called the Hellenikon city Park.

Many that the southerly suburbs (such together Alimos, Palaio Faliro, Elliniko, Voula, Vouliagmeni, and Varkiza) organize a number of sandy beaches, most of which room operated by the Greek national Tourism Organisation and require an entrance fee, i beg your pardon is not too much in many cases. Casinos run on both mount Parnitha, some 25 kilometres (16 mi) from downtown Athens, (accessible by car or cable car) and the nearby town the Loutraki (accessible by auto via the Athens – Corinth nationwide Highway, or the suburban railroad).


In the national Gardens. Athens indigenous the Acropolis through the Lycabettus hill in the background.

Parnitha nationwide Park is punctuated by well-marked paths, gorges, springs, torrents, and also caves dotting the defended area. Hiking and mountain-biking in all 4 mountains remain famous outdoor activities for numerous residents that the city. The national Garden of Athens was completed in 1840 and also is a green refuge of 15.5 hectares in the facility of the Greek capital. It is to be found between the Parliament and also Zappeion buildings, the last of i beg your pardon maintains its own garden of seven hectares.

Parts of the city center have been redeveloped under a masterplan dubbed the Unification that Archeological website of Athens, i beg your pardon has likewise gathered resources from the EU to help enhance the project. The landmark Dionysiou Aeropagitou street has been pedestrianized, forming a scenic route. The course starts from the temple of Olympian Zeus in ~ Vasilissis Olgas Avenue, proceeds under the southerly slopes the the Acropolis close to Plaka, and also finishes just beyond the temple of Hephaestus in Thiseio. The route in its entirety provides visitors with views of the Parthenon and the Agora (the meeting allude of old Athenians), far from the busy city center.

The hills that Athens also provide green space. Lycabettus, Philopappos hill, and also the area around it, including Pnyx and also Ardettos hill, are planted v pines and also other trees, through the personality of a small forest fairly than common metropolitan parkland. Additionally to be found is the Pedion tou Areos (Field that Mars) of 27.7 hectares, near the National historical Museum.

Culture and modern life

Main article: society of Greece

Archaeological hub

A close-up see of the Philopappos Monument. The Porch the the Caryatids in ~ the Erechtheum. The holy place of Olympian Zeus.

The city is among the world’s key centers of archaeological research. Apart from national institutions, such together Athens University, the archaeological Society, several historical Museums (including the National historical Museum, the Cycladic Museum, the Epigraphic Museum, the byzantine Museum, and also museums at the ancient Agora, Acropolis, and also Kerameikos), the city is likewise home come the Demokritos activities for Archaeometry and several regional and national historical authorities that form part the the Greek room of Culture. Additionally, Athens hosts 17 Foreign historical Institutes i m sorry promote and also facilitate research by scholar from your respective residence countries.

As a result, Athens has much more than a dozen archaeological libraries and three specialized archaeological laboratories and is the to meet of numerous hundred specialized lectures, conferences, and seminars, as well as dozens of historical exhibitions, per year. At any given time, Athens is the (temporary) house to thousands of international scholars and also researchers in all techniques of archaeology.


National historic Museum (Old Parliament). The National historical Museum in main Athens.

The most essential museums the Athens encompass The National historical Museum, the largest historical museum in the country, and one the the most crucial internationally, together it has a vast collection of antiquities; its artefacts cover a duration of an ext than 5,000 years, from late Neolithic period to roman inn Greece; The Benaki Museum through its number of branches for each of its collections consisting of ancient, Byzantine, Ottoman-era and also Chinese art and also beyond; The Byzantine and also Christian Museum, among the most essential museums of oriental art; The Numismatic Museum, real estate a an excellent collection the Greek coins;

The Museum that Cycladic Art, house to substantial collection the Cycladic art, consisting of the famous figurines do of white marble; and also finally the brand-new Acropolis Museum, opened up in 2009 and also replacing the old museum ~ above the Acropolis. The new museum has actually proved significantly popular; virtually one million people visited throughout the summer duration of June–October 2009 alone. A variety of smaller and also privately owned museums focused on Greek culture and art are also to be found.


Athens has actually been a popular location for travelers due to the fact that antiquity. Over the previous decade, the city’s infrastructure and social amenities have actually improved, in component due to its successful bid to stage the 2004 Olympic Games. The Greek Government, aided by the EU, has funded significant infrastructure projects such together the state-of-the-art Eleftherios Venizelos international Airport, the expansion of the Athens metro system, and also the new Attiki Odos Motorway.

Entertainment and performing arts

Odeon the Herodes Atticus. Athens Planetarium is thought about one of the largest and best-equipped digital planetariums in the world.

Athens is home to 148 theatrical stages, more than any type of other city in the world, including the famous old Herodes Atticus Theatre, home to the Athens Festival, which operation from might to October every year. In enhancement to a large number the multiplexes, Athens plays host to a variety of romantic, open-air garden cinemas. The city likewise supports a vast variety of music venues, consisting of the Athens Concert Hall, recognized as the “Mégaron Musikis”, which attracts world-famous artists all year round. The Athens Planetarium, located in Andrea Syngrou Avenue is one of the largest and best-equipped digital planetaria in the world.


Athens has actually a long tradition in sports and sporting events, being house to the most crucial clubs in Greek sports and also having a large number of sporting activities facilities. The city has additionally served as a organize of number of sports occasions of global notability.

Athens has actually hosted the Summer Olympic games twice, in 1896 and also 2004. The 2004 Summer Olympics influenced the advance of the Athens Olympic Stadium, i m sorry has due to the fact that gained a reputation as among the many beautiful stadia in the world, and one of its most interesting modern monuments. The greatest stadium in the country, it has actually hosted 2 finals the the UEFA champions League, in 1994 and also 2007. The other significant stadium that Athens, located in the Piraeus area, is the Karaiskakis Stadium, a cutting edge sports and entertainment complex, host of the 1971 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup Final.

Athens has hosted the Euroleague final three times, the first in 1985 and second in 1993, both at the Peace and also Friendship Stadium, most recognized as SEF, among the largest and most attractive indoor arenas in Europe, and also the third in 2007 in ~ the Olympic at home Hall. A big number of occasions in various other sports such together athletics, volleyball, water polo, etc., have likewise been hosted in the capital’s venues.

Athens is house to three prestigious european multi-sport clubs: Olympiacos, Panathinaikos, AEK Athens. In football, Olympiacos have overcame the residential competitions, Panathinaikos made it come the 1971 european Cup Final, when AEK Athens is the various other member that the big three. This clubs likewise hold influential basketball departments; Panathinaikos and Olympiacos are amongst the top powers in europe basketball, having actually won the Euroleague five times and once respectively, through AEK Athens gift the an initial Greek team to victory a europe trophy in any kind of team sports.

Other clubs with great tradition in sports within Athens space Panionios, Panellinios, Ethnikos Piraeus, and also Maroussi. Athenian clubs have additionally had significant domestic and international success in various other sports.

The Athens area incorporates a selection of terrain, notably hills and also mountains rising about the city, and the resources is the only significant city in Europe to it is in bisected by a hill range. 4 mountain ranges extend into city boundaries and thousands of mile of trails crisscross the city and also neighboring areas, giving exercise and wilderness access on foot and bike. Beyond Athens and across the county a an excellent variety of outdoor activities are accessible and popular, consisting of skiing, rock climbing, hang gliding, and also windsurfing. Countless outdoor clubs serve these sports, consisting of the Athens thing of the Sierra Club, which leads over 4,000 outings yearly in the area.

Inside the Olympic stadium of Athens Spiros Louis.


Athens population distribution. Athens urban area is displayed here v its 55 municipalities.

The municipality of Athens has an official population of 745,514 with a metropolitan population of 3.2 million (population consisting of the suburbs). The really population, however, is thought to it is in higher, due to the fact that during census-taking (carried out once every 10 years) some Athenian inhabitants travel ago to their birthplaces, and also register as neighborhood citizens there.

Reflecting this uncertainty about population figures, assorted sources refer to a population of around 5 million people for Athens. Also unaccounted for is an undefined variety of unregistered immigrant originating largely from Albania, other Eastern europe countries, and also Pakistan. There space some 200,000 Muslims life in Athens

The old site that the city is focused on the rocky hill of the acropolis. In ancient times the port of Piraeus was a different city, yet it has actually now been soaked up into greater Athens. The rapid growth of the city initiated in the 1950s and also 1960s proceeds today, due to the fact that of the shift from an farming to an commercial nation. The expansion is now particularly toward the East and North eastern (a tendency greatly pertained to the brand-new Eleftherios Venizelos global Airport and the Attiki Odos, the freeway the cuts across Attica). By this process, Athens has engulfed plenty of former suburbs and also villages in Attica and also continues to perform so. Throughout its lengthy history, Athens has experienced many different populace levels. The table below shows the historical population of Athens in current times.

The Athens urban area is composed of 55 municipalities, 48 that the Athens Prefecture and 7 that the mainland Piraeus Prefecture. The second-largest municipality of the city area, after Athens city proper, is that of Piraeus, v Peristeri and also Kallithea following. It spans 412 km2 (159 sq mi) and has a populace of 3,130,841 (in 2001), which renders it one of the largest urban locations of the europe Union.


The Athens awareness (blue), within the periphery of Attica (grey). The 7 districts the Athens municipality.

Athens ended up being the resources of greek in 1834, adhering to Nafplion which to be the provisional capital from 1829. In addition, the municipality the Athens is the funding of the Attica Periphery and the Athens Prefecture. Athens deserve to refer either to the municipality that Athens or come the whole urban area. It occasionally refers only to the Athens Prefecture, i beg your pardon is part of the urban area.

Attica Periphery

Athens is situated within the Attica Periphery, which encompasses the most populated region of Greece, with approximately 3.7 million people. The Attica perimeter itself is break-up into four prefectures; they include the Athens Prefecture, Piraeus Prefecture, West Attica Prefecture, and also the eastern Attica Prefecture. It is, however, one of the smaller sized peripheries in Greece, v an area that 3,808 km2 (1,470 sq mi).

Athens Prefecture

The Athens awareness is the most populous the the Prefectures of Greece, bookkeeping for 2,664,776 human being (in 2001), through an area that 361 km2 (139 sq mi). The is made up by 48 municipalities, each among which has an elected district council and also a straight elected mayor. Together with the Piraeus Prefecture, it forms the Athens-Piraeus super-prefecture.

Athens Municipality

The municipality of Athens is the most populous in Greece, v a population of 745,514 world (in 2001) and also an area of 39 km2 (15 sq mi). The existing mayor that Athens is the new Democracy politician, Nikitas Kaklamanis. The is split into 7 municipal districts, referred to as dimotika diamerismata. The 7-district division is mainly used for governmental purposes. Because that Athenians, the most popular way of dividing the city proper is with its communities such together Pagkrati, Ambelokipi, Exarcheia, Patissia, Ilissia, Petralona, Koukaki, and Kypseli, each with its very own distinct background and characteristics.


The entrance of the nationwide Library that Greece. The university Club building, started in 1927.

Located top top Panepistimiou Street, the old campus the the university of Athens, the nationwide Library, and also the Athens Academy type the “Athens Trilogy” built in the mid-19th century. Most of the university’s workings have actually been moved to a lot larger, contemporary campus situated in the eastern suburb that Zográfou. The second higher education school in the city is the Athens Polytechnic college (Ethniko Metsovio Politechnio), uncovered in Patission Street.

This was the ar where on 17 November 1973, much more than 13 students to be killed and also hundreds injured inside the university throughout the Athens Polytechnic uprising, versus the military junta that ruled the nation from 21 April 1967 until 23 July 1974. Another notable school is the agricultural University the Athens i beg your pardon lies in the west the the city’s center.


The recycling an equipment in Athens

By the late 1970s, the pollution of Athens had become so devastating that follow to the then Greek Minister that Culture, Constantine Trypanis, “…the sculpted details top top the five the caryatids of the Erechtheum had seriously degenerated, when the challenge of the horseman on the Parthenon’s west side to be all yet obliterated.“<69> A series of strict measures taken by the authorities the the city transparent the 1990s resulted in the innovation of waiting quality; the appearance of smog (or nefos as the Athenians offered to contact it) has become less common. Widespread actions taken through the Greek authorities throughout the 1990s have improved the top quality of air over the Attica Basin.

Nevertheless, air pollution still stays an worry for Athens, particularly during the sexty summer days. In so late June 2007, the Attica region experienced a number of brush fires, consisting of a blaze that burned a significant portion that a large forested nationwide park in mountain Parnitha, considered an essential to maintaining far better air top quality in Athens every year round. Damages to the park has actually led to problems over a stalling in the improvement of air quality in the city.

The major waste management initiatives were undertaken in the last te (particularly the plant constructed on the small island that Psytalia) have improved water quality in the Saronic Gulf, and also the coastal waters of Athens space now available again to swimmers. In January 2007, Athens challenged a rubbish management problem when that landfill close to Ano Liosia, an Athenian suburb, got to capacity. The situation eased by mid-January when authorities started taking the garbage to a short-lived landfill.


Highway interchange in the northern suburb that Maroussi. Highway A1 (PATHE) terminating near Faliro.

The Athens massive Transit System is composed of a big bus fleet, a trolleybus fleet that mainly serves the downtown area, the city’s Metro, a tram line connecting the southerly suburbs come the city center, and the Athens Suburban Railway service.

Athens Metro

Agios Dimitrios station of the Athens Metro. Exhibition that antiquities in the luxurious Syntagma terminal of the Athens Metro.

The Athens subway is an ext commonly known in Greece together the Attiko metro (Greek: Αττικό Mετρό). When its key purpose is transport, it also houses Greek artefacts found throughout the construction of the system. The Athens subway supports one operating employee of 387 and also runs 2 of the three metro lines; its two lines (red and also blue) were created largely throughout the 1990s, and the initial sections opened in January 2000, and also the currently run entirely underground.

The subway network operates a fleet the 42 trains consist of of 252 cars, v a daily occupancy that 550,000 passengers. The Blue Line runs from the western suburbs, specific the Egaleo station, through the central Monastiraki and Syntagma stations come Doukissis Plakentias way in the northeastern suburb that Halandri, spanning a street of 16 km (10 mi), then ascending come ground level and also reaching Eleftherios Venizelos global Airport, making use of the Suburban Railway infrastructure and also extending its distance to 39 kilometres (24 mi).

The Red Line, in counterpart, runs from Aghios Antonios to Aghios Dimitrios and also covers a street of 11.6 kilometres (7 mi). Expansions to both this lines room under construction, most notably westwards come Piraeus, southwards to the Old Hellinikon Airport eastern Terminal (the future city Park), and eastward toward the easternmost suburb the Aghia Paraskevi. The eastern part is in reality no expansion per se, but rather an opened of new stations between the Ethniki Amyna and Doukissis Plakentias stations. The feather 2007 extension from Monastiraki westwards, come Egaleo, connected some of the main nightlife hubs of the city, specific the people of Gazi (Kerameikos station) with Psirri (Monastiraki station) and the city center (Syntagma station).

electric railway (ISAP)

An ISAP train (Green Line) passes by the Stoa that Attalus in central Athens.

The 3rd line, no run through the Athens Metro, is the ISAP (Greek: ΗΣΑΠ), the Electric Railway Company. This is the green line that the Athens subway as shown on the nearby map, and unlike the red and blue courses running totally underground, ISAP operation either above-ground or below-ground at different sections of its journey. This same operation runs the initial metro line from Piraeus come Kifisia; it serves 22 stations, through a network length of 25.6 km (15.9 mi), an operating staff of 730 and also a fleet of 44 trains and 243 cars, and also a everyday occupancy price of 600,000 passengers.

The historic environment-friendly Line, a 25.6 kilometres (16 mi)-long and 24-station line which creates the oldest and also for the most part runs in ~ ground level, connect the port of Piraeus to the north suburb that Kifissia and is collection to be extended to Agios Stefanos, a suburb situated 23 km (14 mi) to the north of the city center, getting to to 36 km (22 mi).

Suburban rail (Proastiakos)

Suburban Rail.

The Proastiakós associate Eleftherios Venizelos international Airport come the city that Corinth, 80 kilometres (50 mi) west the Athens, via the main Larissa train station and also the port of Piraeus, and is sometimes taken into consideration the fourth line of the Athens Metro. The Suburban Rail network at this time extends to a length of 120 km (75 mi), and also is meant to stretch come 281 km (175 mi) by 2010. The Proastiakos will certainly be expanded to Xylokastro west that Athens and Chalkida. The urban and also suburban railway mechanism is controlled by three various companies; specific ISAP, Attiko subway (lines 2 & 3), and also Proastiakós (line 4).


Ethel (Greek: ΕΘΕΛ) (Etaireia Thermikon Leoforeion), or Thermal Bus Company, is the key operator of buses in Athens. Its network is composed of about 300 bus currently which expectations the whole Attica Basin, v an operating staff of 5,327, and a fleet that 1,839 buses. That those 1,839 buses, 416 operation on compressed herbal gas, consisting of the biggest fleet of organic gas-powered buses in Europe.

Besides being served by a fleet the natural-gas and also diesel buses, the Athens urban area is likewise served by trolleybuses — or electric buses, as they are described in the name of the operation company. The network activate by Electric Buses the the Athens and also Pireaus Region, or ILPAP (Greek: ΗΛΠΑΠ), is composed of 22 lines v an operating staff of 1,137. All of the 366 trolleybuses room equipped to enable them to run on diesel in situation of strength failure.


Athens Tram.

Athens Tram SA operates a fleet the 35 vehicles, which serve 48 stations, rental 345 world with an average daily occupancy the 65,000 passengers. The tram network spans a total length of 27 km (17 mi) and covers ten Athenian suburbs. This network operation from Syntagma Square come the southwestern suburb that Palaio Faliro, whereby the heat splits in 2 branches; the very first runs follow me the Athens coast toward the southern suburb of Voula, if the various other heads towards the Piraeus district of Neo Faliro. The network consists the bulk of the Saronic coastline.

Further expansions are planned in the direction of the significant commercial harbor of Piraeus. The growth to Piraeus will incorporate 12 new stations, boost the overall length of the tram by 5.4 km (3 mi), and increase the in its entirety transportation network.

Eleftherios Venizelos worldwide Airport

The Athens worldwide Airport key terminal building, viewed at night.

Athens is offered by the modern Eleftherios Venizelos global Airport (AIA) situated near the city of Spata, in the eastern Messoghia plain, part 35 km (22 mi) eastern of Athens. The airport to be awarded the “European airplane of the Year 2004” Award. Intended as an expandable hub for air travel in southeastern Europe, that was constructed in a record 51 month costing 2.2 exchange rate euros and also employing a employee of 14,000. Refer bus company is provided, connecting the airport come the metro system, and also 2 refer bus services attach the airport come the port at Piraeus and the city center respectively.

Eleftherios Venizelos accommodates 65 landings and also take-offs per hour, with its 24 passenger boarding bridges, 144 check-in counters, and broader 150,000 m2 (1,614,587 sq ft) key terminal, and a advertisement area the 7,000 m2 (75,347 sq ft) which consists of cafes, duty-free shops, and a tiny museum. In 2007, the airport tackled 16,538,390 passengers, an increase of 9.7% over the previous year the 2006. That those 16,538,390 passengers, 5,955,387 passed with the airplane for residential flights, and also 10,583,003 passengers travelled v for global flights. Beyond the dimensions of that passenger capacity, AIA tackled 205,294 complete flights in 2007 or about 562 flights per day.

Railways, highways, and ferry connections

Athens is the hub of the country’s nationwide railway mechanism (OSE), connecting the funding with major cities throughout Greece and also abroad (Istanbul, Sofia, and also Bucharest). Ferries departing indigenous the major port the Piraeus connect the city come the numerous Greek archipelago of the Aegean Sea. There are two key highways; one heading towards the west city that Patras in Peloponessus (GR-8A, E94) and the various other heading to the north, towards Greece’s second-largest city, Thessaloniki (GR-1, E75). Indigenous 2001 come 2004, a ring roadway toll-motorway (Attiki Odos) was progressively completed, expanding from the western industrial suburb the Elefsina all the means to the Athens global Airport.

The Ymittos perimeter Highway is a separate section of Attiki Odos connecting the east suburb of Kaisariani to the northeastern town of Glyka Nera; this is where it meets the main component of the ring road. The expectations of the Attiki Odos in all is 65 kilometres (40 mi).

Olympic games

1896 Summer Olympics

Main article: 1896 Summer Olympics The opened ceremony of the 1896 Summer Olympics in Kallimarmaron Stadium.

1896 brought forth the renewal of the modern-day Olympic Games, through Frenchman Pierre de Coubertin. Thanks to his efforts, Athens to be awarded the an initial modern Olympic Games. In 1896, the city had actually an approximate population of 123,000 and also the event helped boost the city’s international profile. That the venues supplied for this Olympics, the Kallimarmaro Stadium, and Zappeion were many crucial. The Kallimarmaro is a replica of the old Athenian stadiums, and also the only major stadium (in its capacity of 60,000) to be made entirely of white marble from mount Penteli, the same product used for the building of the Parthenon.

1906 Summer Olympics

The 1906 Summer Olympics, or the 1906 Intercalated games, to be held really successfully in Athens. The intercalated competitions to be intermediate gamings to the internationally organized Olympics and also were supposed to be arranged in Greece. This idea later lost support from the IOC and also these games were not made permanent.

2004 Summer Olympics

Main article: 2004 Summer Olympics Athens Olympic sports Complex

Athens to be awarded the 2004 Summer Olympics top top 5 September 1997 in Lausanne, Switzerland, after having actually lost a vault bid to hold the 1996 Summer Olympics, to Atlanta, joined States.<12> It to be to be the second time Athens would have actually the respect of hosting the games, adhering to the inaugural event of 1896. ~ the 1990’s unsuccessful bid, the 1997 bid was radically improved also including one appeal to Greece’s Olympic history. In the last round the voting, Athens defeated Rome through 66 votes come 41. Before this round, the urban of Buenos Aires, Stockholm, and Cape city had already been removed from the competition, having actually received under votes.

The Olympic fire at the opening Ceremony that the 2004 Olympic Games, conceived by the avant-garde choreographer Dimitris Papaioannou.

During the an initial three year of preparations, the global Olympic Committee had actually repeatedly to express some problem over the rate of construction progress for some of the new Olympic venues. In 2000 the Organising Committee’s president was replaced by Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki, who was the president of the original Bidding Committee in 1997. Native that suggest on, preparations continued at a highly accelerated, practically frenzied pace.

Although the heavy price was criticized, estimated at $1.5 billion, together is typically the instance with most Olympic cities, Athens to be literally transformed right into a an ext functional city the enjoys state-of-the-art an innovation both in transportation and in modern-day urban development. Few of the best sporting venues in the people were created in the city, all of which were completely ready for the games. The gamings welcomed over 10,000 athletes from every 202 countries.

The 2004 games were judged a substantial success, together both security and organization to be exceptionally good, and only a couple of visitors report minor problems mainly worrying accommodation issues. The 2004 Olympic gamings were described as Unforgettable, dream Games, by IOC chairman Jacques Rogge for their return to the birthplace that the Olympics, and for superbly conference the obstacles of stop the Olympic Games. The just observable trouble was a rather sparse attendance the some early events. Eventually, however, a total of an ext than 3.5 million tickets were sold, i m sorry was higher than any other Olympics v the exemption of Sydney (more 보다 5 million tickets were offered there in 2000).

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In 2008 it to be reported that almost all of the Olympic venues had fallen into varying states of disrepair: follow to those reports, 21 of the 22 facilities constructed for the games had either been left exit or space in a state of dereliction, with several squatter camps have actually sprung increase around certain facilities, and also a number of venues afflicted through vandalism, graffiti or strewn v rubbish. These claims, however, room disputed and likely to it is in inaccurate, as many of the infrastructure used because that the Athens Olympics are either in usage or in the procedure of being converted because that post-Olympics use.

The Greek government has developed a corporation, Olympic properties SA, i beg your pardon is overseeing the post-Olympics management, development, and conversion of this facilities, few of which will be offered off (or have currently been sold off) come the personal sector, if other infrastructure are tho in use just as during the Olympics, or have actually been converted for commercial use or modified for other sports.”