Athens, the most important metropolis of Southeast Europe

Saturday, 19 February 2011 - 03:59 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Architecture, European Union, European Capital of Culture, UNESCO World Heritage
Reading Time:  5 minutes

Academy of Athens © Olavfin

Academy of Athens © Olavfin

Athens is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica periphery and it is one of the world’s oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state. A centre for the arts, learning and philosophy, home of Plato’s Academy and Aristotle’s Lyceum, it is widely referred to as the cradle of Western civilization and the birthplace of democracy, largely due to the impact of its cultural and political achievements during the 5th and 4th centuries BC on the rest of the then known European continent.

The heritage of the classical era is still evident in the city, represented by a number of ancient monuments and works of art, the most famous of all being the Parthenon, widely considered a key landmark of early Western civilization. The city also retains a vast variety of Roman and Byzantine monuments, as well as a smaller number of remaining Ottoman monuments projecting the city’s long history across the centuries. Athens is home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Acropolis of Athens and the medieval Daphni Monastery. Landmarks of the modern era, dating back to the establishment of Athens as the capital of the independent Greek state in 1833, include the Hellenic Parliament (19th century) and the Athens Trilogy consisting of the National Library of Greece, the Athens University and the Academy of Athens. Athens was the host city of the first modern-day Olympic Games in 1896, and 108 years later it welcomed home the 2004 Summer Olympics. Athens is home to the National Archeological Museum, featuring the world’s largest collection of ancient Greek antiquities, as well as the new Acropolis Museum.

Hellenic Parliament © Orlovic Kifissias Avenue © Barcex Kolonaki © Giorgoos Mount Lycabettus © Barcex Museum of the City of Athens © Hoverfish National Archaeological Museum of Athens © Lucretius National Library of Greece © Dimboukas Old Greek Parliament - National Historical Museum © Badseed Panoramic view of Athens © Jay Galvin Theatre of Herodes © Юкатан Academy of Athens © Olavfin Acropolis from a top Philopappos Hill © ccarlstead Acropolis Panorama © Demos Athens Montage © Dimboukas
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Old Greek Parliament - National Historical Museum © Badseed
Athens has been a popular destination for travelers since antiquity. Over the past decade, the city’s infrastructure and social amenities have improved, in part due to its successful bid to stage the 2004 Olympic Games. The Greek Government, aided by the EU, has funded major infrastructure projects such as the state-of-the-art Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport, the expansion of the Athens Metro system, and the new Attiki Odos Motorway. Athens is home to 148 theatrical stages, more than any other city in the world, including the famous ancient Herodes Atticus Theatre, home to the Athens Festival, which runs from May to October each year. In addition to a large number of multiplexes, Athens plays host to a variety of romantic, open air garden cinemas. The city also supports a vast number of music venues, including the Athens Concert Hall, known 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.

The city of Athens contains a variety of different architectural styles, ranging from Greco-Roman, Neo-Classical, to modern. They are often to be found in the same areas, as Athens is not marked by a uniformity of architectural style. Many of the most prominent buildings of the city are either Greco-Roman or neo-classical in styling. Some of the neo-classical structures to be found are public buildings erected during the mid-nineteenth century, under the guidance of Theophil Freiherr von Hansen and Ernst Ziller, and include the Athens Academy, Athens City Hall, Greek Parliament, Old Parliament (1875–1932) (Now the National Historical Museum), University of Athens, and Zappeion Hall.

To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facepage pages/Twitter accounts. Read more on City of Athens, Athens Guide, WikiTravel Athens und Wikipedia Athens. Learn more about the use of photos.




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