Athens has hosted the Summer Olympic Games twice, in 1896 and 2004. The Stadiou Street in Central Athens in 1908. Start your walking tour from Kallimarmaro Roman Stadium (Syntagma or Evangelismos metro station), the place where the first modern Olympic Games took place in 1896. As a whole the economy of Athens and Greece has been severely hit with today's data showing a change from long recession to growth of 1.4% in 2017. Athens remains on the world stage to this day. The port of Piraeus, where big investments by COSCO have already been delivered during the recent decade, the completion of the new Cargo Centre in Thriasion,[118] the expansion of the Athens Metro and the Athens Tram, as well as the projected metropolitan park in Elliniko and other economic projects are the economic landmarks of the upcoming years. In the last round of voting, Athens defeated Rome with 66 votes to 41. Capital Facts for Athens, Greece July 4, 2020 by Danny Metrics Greece flag One of the world’s oldest cities given its more 3,400 years in existence, Athens is the capital of the Hellenic Republic more commonly known as Greece. (2005). The “core” of the historic centre is the Plaka neighborhood (at the eastern side of the Acropolis), which has been inhabited without interruption since antiquity. In this era, the first Christian churches were built in Athens, and the Parthenon and other temples were converted into churches. Athens Municipality is the largest in population size in Greece. The Cephissus river, the Ilisos and the Eridanos stream are the historical rivers of Athens. [19] Athens is home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Acropolis of Athens and the medieval Daphni Monastery. 28 December 2012. image caption Some 300,000 Muslims are said to live in Athens. Athen sits within the Attica basin, where it was built around a number of hills and other raised land formations. After 1930, wavering among American and European musical influences as well as the Greek musical tradition. Santamouris M., Papanikolaou I., Livada I., Koronakis C., Georgakis C, Assimakopoulos D.N. Athens is also the capital of Greece and has the most developed economy in the country. ... the focus has shifted to living in this city – an energetic Athens in which age-old artistic impulse and 21st-century conditions clash and coalesce. During the 1920s a number of Greek refugees, expelled from Asia Minor after the Greco-Turkish War, swelled Athens's population; nevertheless it was most particularly following World War II, and from the 1950s and 1960s, that the population of the city exploded, and Athens experienced a gradual expansion. Parnitha National Park is punctuated by well-marked paths, gorges, springs, torrents and caves dotting the protected area. 24, Issue 12, pp.1296–1302. Athens is indeed the capital city of Greece, and as well is a traditional power centre of ancient Greek civilization. Lycabettus is one of the tallest hills of the city proper and provides a view of the entire Attica Basin. Nashville is the capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Tennessee.The city is the county seat of Davidson County and is located on the Cumberland River. The municipality of Piraeus, the historic Athenian port, with 4 other municipalities make up the regional unit of Piraeus. Later, under Rome, Athens was given the status of a free city because of its widely admired schools. This city of 3.252 million people was designated the capital of Greece in 1833 immediately after the country won its independence from the Ottoman Empire. Updates? Most of the functions of NKUA have been transferred to a campus in the eastern suburb of Zografou. [127] The Athens Metro runs three metro lines, namely the line 1 (Green Line), line 2 (Red Line) and line 3 (Blue Line) lines, of which the first was constructed It has a fleet of 35 Sirio type vehicles[131] which serve 48 stations,[131] employ 345 people with an average daily occupancy of 65,000 passengers. The nights are cool. By the mid-4th century BC, the northern Greek kingdom of Macedon was becoming dominant in Athenian affairs. Mycenean Athens in 1600–1100 BC could have reached the size of Tiryns; that would put the population at the range of 10,000–15,000. Santamouris M., Papanikolaou N., Livada I., Koronakis I., Georgakis A., Assimakopoulos D.N. Athens. In 1923, after the population exchange between Greece and Turkey, many ethnic Greeks from Asia Minor fled to Athens as a result of the Greco-Turkish War. However the numbers would include all of Athenian territory which consisted almost entirely of modern Attica region expect the territory of the city-state of Megaris and the island section. For the Athenians, all the urban municipalities surrounding the City Centre are called suburbs. Athens Capital Hotel, located in the ideal place in the heart of Athens on Syndagma Square next to the Parliament House, is your perfect choice for an eco-urban break to discover the city vibes. Greece attracted 26.5 million visitors in 2015, 30.1 million visitors in 2017 and over 33 million in 2018, making Greece one of the most visited countries in Europe and the world, and contributing 18% to the nation's Gross Domestic Product. For the greatest part of the 19th century Neoclassicism dominated Athens, as well as some deviations from it such as Eclecticism, especially in the early 20th century. Daily average highs for July have been measured around 34 °C or 93 °F in downtown Athens, but some parts of the city may be even hotter for the higher density of buildings, such as the center,[48] in particular, western areas due to a combination of industrialization and a number of natural factors, knowledge of which has existed since the mid-19th century. "On the characteristics of the summer urban heat island in Athens, Greece". "Indications of the Urban Heat Island in Athens, Greece". With a history spanning over 2,500 years, it’s the birthplace of democracy, history, theatre and many areas of science. In the 1950s and 1960s during the extension and development of Athens, other modern movements such as the International style played an important role. From that point forward, preparations continued at a highly accelerated, almost frenzied pace. Yet such considerations are superficial when compared with the fecundity of Athens’s bequests to the world, such as its philosophy, its architecture, its literature, and its political ideals. According to their geographic location in relation to the City of Athens, the suburbs are divided into four zones; the northern suburbs (including Agios Stefanos, Dionysos, Ekali, Nea Erythraia, Kifissia, Kryoneri, Maroussi, Pefki, Lykovrysi, Metamorfosi, Nea Ionia, Nea Filadelfeia, Irakleio, Vrilissia, Melissia, Penteli, Chalandri, Agia Paraskevi, Gerakas, Pallini, Galatsi, Psychiko and Filothei); the southern suburbs (including Alimos, Nea Smyrni, Moschato, Tavros, Agios Ioannis Rentis, Kallithea, Piraeus, Agios Dimitrios, Palaio Faliro, Elliniko, Glyfada, Lagonisi, Saronida, Argyroupoli, Ilioupoli, Varkiza, Voula, Vari and Vouliagmeni); the eastern suburbs (including Zografou, Dafni, Vyronas, Kaisariani, Cholargos and Papagou); and the western suburbs (including Peristeri, Ilion, Egaleo, Koridallos, Agia Varvara, Keratsini, Perama, Nikaia, Drapetsona, Chaidari, Petroupoli, Agioi Anargyroi, Ano Liosia, Aspropyrgos, Eleusina, Acharnes and Kamatero). Both composers have achieved fame abroad for their composition of film scores.[158]. Bordered by four mountains, Athens lies in the Attica Basin. 201–216. The city also supports music venues, including the Athens Concert Hall (Megaro Moussikis), which attracts world class artists. Santamouris M. (1997). Fencing before the king of Greece at the 1896 Summer Olympics. [24][25] Eight different etymologies, now commonly rejected, were proposed during the 17th century. [151][152] In addition to a large number of multiplexes, Athens plays host to open air garden cinemas. Although the heavy cost was criticized, estimated at $1.5 billion, Athens was transformed into a more functional city that enjoys modern technology both in transportation and in modern urban development. These would pave the way for the eventual introduction of democracy by Cleisthenes in 508 BC. Multinational companies such as Ericsson, Sony, Siemens, Motorola, Samsung, Microsoft, Novartis, Mondelez, Coca-Cola, etc. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. The line 3 (Blue Line) runs from Nikaia station, through the central Monastiraki and Syntagma stations to Doukissis Plakentias avenue in the northeastern suburb of Halandri. The Temple of Olympian Zeus with river Ilisos by Edward Dodwell, 1821. Neoclassicism, the international style of this epoch, was the architectural style through which Bavarian, French and Greek architects such as Hansen, Klenze, Boulanger or Kaftantzoglou designed the first important public buildings of the new capital. The modern version has a population of 4.5 million people and while falling on tough economic times, that hasn’t changed the fact that Athens might still be Europe’s greatest city to visit. The airport accommodates 65 landings and take-offs per hour,[134] with its 24-passenger boarding bridges,[134] 144 check-in counters and broader 150,000 m2 (1,614,587 sq ft) main terminal;[134] and a commercial area of 7,000 m2 (75,347 sq ft) which includes cafés, duty-free shops,[135] and a small museum. [23] Modern scholars now generally agree that the goddess takes her name from the city,[23] because the ending -ene is common in names of locations, but rare for personal names.[23]. In the 1980s it became evident that smog from factories and an ever-increasing fleet of automobiles, as well as a lack of adequate free space due to congestion, had evolved into the city's most important challenge. [136] Of those 15,196,369 passengers, 5,267,593 passed through the airport for domestic flights,[137] and 9,970,006 passengers travelled through for international flights. [149] After World War II, internationally known architects to have designed and built in the city included Walter Gropius, with his design for the US Embassy, and, among others, Eero Saarinen, in his postwar design for the east terminal of the Ellinikon Airport. However, Athens, like many other Bronze Age settlements, went into economic decline for around 150 years afterwards. International Conference "Passive and Low Energy Cooling for the Built Environment", May 2005, Santorini, Greece, pp. It is the 23rd most-populous city in the United States.. Named for Francis Nash, a general of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, the city was founded in 1779. As they are discussing whether Amsterdam is acceptable (The Hague is the administrative capital of the Netherlands but Amsterdam is the official capital), chip in … [128] The line connects the western suburbs of Athens with the southeast suburbs, passing through the center of Athens. (1985). Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. A visitor will quickly notice the absence of tall buildings: Athens has very strict height restriction laws in order to ensure the Acropolis hill is visible throughout the city. Some of them are PAO Rouf (Rouf) with earlier presence in Gamma Ethniki, Petralona F.C. Athens (/ˈæθɪnz/ ATH-inz;[4] Greek: Αθήνα, romanized: Athína [aˈθina] (listen); Ancient Greek: Ἀθῆναι, romanized: Athênai (pl.) Apart from the neoclassicals by Leonidas Drosis at the Academy of Athens (Plato, Socrates, Apollo, Athena), other notable include the statue of Theseus by Georgios Fytalis at Thiseion, of philhellenes like Lord Byron, George Canning and William Gladstone, the equestrian statue of Theodoros Kolokotronis by Lazaros Sochos in front of the Old Parliament, statues of Ioannis Kapodistrias, Rigas Feraios and Adamantios Korais at the University, of Evangelos Zappas and Konstantinos Zappas at Zappeion, of Ioannis Varvakis at the National Garden, the "woodbreaker" by Dimitrios Filippotis, the equestrian statue of Alexandros Papagos at Papagou district and various busts of fighters of Greek independence at the Pedion tou Areos. Owing to the rain shadow of the Pindus Mountains, annual precipitation of Athens is lower than most other parts of Greece, especially western Greece. International links are provided by a number of private companies. The Roman Agora and the Gate of Athena in Plaka district. The Athens area encompasses a variety of terrain, notably hills and mountains rising around the city, and the capital is the only major city in Europe to be bisected by a mountain range. Athens sprawls across the central plain of Attica that is often referred to as the Athens Basin or the Attica Basin (Greek: Λεκανοπέδιο Αθηνών/Αττικής). The length of Athens's commuter rail network extends to 120 km (75 mi),[130] and is expected to stretch to 281 km (175 mi) by 2010. Athens' Metropolitan Area is served by the motorway network of the Attiki Odos toll-motorway (code: A6). [20] It was to be the second time Athens would host the games, following the inaugural event of 1896. Athens has been a destination for travellers since antiquity. 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These clubs also have basketball teams; Panathinaikos and Olympiacos are among the top powers in European basketball, having won the Euroleague six times and three respectively, whilst AEK Athens was the first Greek team to win a European trophy in any team sport. Download all free or royalty-free photos and vectors. The Embassy of France in Vasilissis Sofias Avenue. The playwrights Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides flourished in Athens during this time, as did the historians Herodotus and Thucydides, the physician Hippocrates, and the philosopher Socrates. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. [60][61][62][63][64] On the other hand, specific meteorological stations, such as the National Garden station and Thiseio meteorological station, are less affected or do not experience the urban heat island. Athens is one of the major economic centres in south-eastern Europe and is considered as a regional economic power in Europe generally. Some three centuries after the death of Pericles (429 bce), Athenians entered upon a period of bondage that lasted almost 2,000 years. Athens City, Greece Photo by: Andrew®, Creative Commons Athens, the capital city of Greece, has the distinction of being one of the oldest cities in the world. Notable composers of operettas or nocturnes were Kostas Giannidis, Dionysios Lavrangas, Nikos Hatziapostolou, while Theophrastos Sakellaridis' The Godson remains probably the most popular operetta. Other forms of song popular today in Greece are elafrolaika, entechno, dimotika, and skyladika. They together with the regional unit of Piraeus (Greater Piraeus) make up the dense Athens Urban Area which reaches a total population of 3,090,508 inhabitants (in 2011). The Athens Urban Area (Greek: Πολεοδομικό Συγκρότημα Αθηνών), also known as Urban Area of the Capital (Greek: Πολεοδομικό Συγκρότημα Πρωτεύουσας), today consists of 40 municipalities, 35 of which make up what is referred to as the Greater Athens municipalities, located within 4 regional units (North Athens, West Athens, Central Athens, South Athens); and a further 5, which make up the Greater Piraeus municipalities, located within the regional unit of Piraeus as mentioned above. Four mountain ranges extend into city boundaries and thousands of kilometres of trails criss-cross the city and neighbouring areas, providing exercise and wilderness access on foot and bike. The 1906 Summer Olympics, or the 1906 Intercalated games, were held in Athens. Over the past decade, the city's infrastructure and social amenities have improved, in part because of its successful bid to stage the 2004 Olympic Games. [10] In modern times, Athens is a large cosmopolitan metropolis and central to economic, financial, industrial, maritime, political and cultural life in Greece. It is the largest container port in East Mediterranean Sea Basin. [42] It also ranks as a very safe city (39th globally out of 162 cities overall) on the ranking of the safest and most dangerous countries. Many of them are accredited by a foreign state or university such as the American College of Greece and the Athens Campus of the University of Indianapolis.[146]. [133], Athens is served by the Athens International Airport (ATH), located near the town of Spata, in the eastern Messoghia plain, some 35 km (22 mi) east of center of Athens. The capital of Greece is Athens (in Greek Αθήνα, Athína) currently the largest city in the country. The National Garden of Athens was completed in 1840 and is a green refuge of 15.5 hectares in the centre of the Greek capital. The games welcomed over 10,000 athletes from all 202 countries. It is … and Katsoulis B.D. Almost three-and-a-half millennium old, the city of Athens is the largest city in Greece today. Published. It is also a major national hub for Intercity (Ktel) and international buses as well as for domestic and international rail transport. Variant names included Setines, Satine, and Astines, all derivations involving false splitting of prepositional phrases. Professor of Archaeology, American School of Classical Studies at Athens, 1949–71. For the Athenians the most popular way of dividing the downtown is through its neighbourhoods such as Pagkrati, Ambelokipi, Goudi, Exarcheia, Patissia, Ilissia, Petralona, Plaka, Anafiotika, Koukaki and Kypseli, each with its own distinct history and characteristics. Mount Parnitha is the tallest of the four mountains (1,413 m (4,636 ft)),[37] and has been declared a national park. Scholars disagree on whether the city is named for the goddess Athena, or the goddess for the city.Athens has a population of about 4 million people and is growing. The banking sector is represented by National Bank of Greece, Alpha Bank, Eurobank, and Piraeus Bank, while the Bank of Greece is also situated in the City Centre. Despite the fact that the Athenian songs were not autonomous artistic creations (in contrast with the serenades) and despite their original connection with mainly dramatic forms of Art, they eventually became hits as independent songs. Other notable clubs within Athens are Athinaikos, Panionios, Atromitos, Apollon, Panellinios, Ethnikos Piraeus, Maroussi BCE and Peristeri B.C.. Athenian clubs have also had domestic and international success in other sports. Athens was voted as the third best European city to visit in 2015 by European Best Destination. On this day in 1834, Athens became the capital city of Greece. In 2004 Athens hosted the 2004 Summer Olympics. Its main section extends from the western industrial suburb of Elefsina to Athens International Airport; while two beltways, namely the Aigaleo Beltway (A65) and the Hymettus Beltway (A64) serve parts of western and eastern Athens respectively. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). A series of anti-pollution measures taken by the city's authorities in the 1990s, combined with a substantial improvement of the city's infrastructure (including the Attiki Odos motorway, the expansion of the Athens Metro, and the new Athens International Airport), considerably alleviated pollution and transformed Athens into a much more functional city. Official office of the 2011 census, the historic Athenian port, with a recorded history spans around 3,400.. Dionysiou Areopagitou Street has been the official capital of Greece and the medieval,! Range of 10,000–15,000 a distance of 25.6-kilometre ( 15.9 mi ) and international rail transport the. 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