Athens was the … By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. The government in Greece especially Athens was made based on the democracy. For treatment of the city in its regional setting, see Greece; historical and cultural aspects are treated further in the article ancient Greek civilization. How well do you know the world’s capital cities? Athens’ origins date back to 3,000 B.C. The Parthenon in Athens, Greece #2 She is one of the twelve Olympian Gods. Greece welcomed 17,920,000 tourists into the country in 2013, many of whom visited Athens for its ancient history and... Whilst the Olympics are … The Acropolis and surrounding area, Athens. Greater Athens has an area of 165 square miles (427 square km). During the time of the Ancient Greeks it was the center of power, art, science, and philosophy in the world. She was the daughter of Zeus; no mother bore her. Athens is the largest city of Greece, apart from being one of the oldest cities of the world. 10. 3. It was known for the amount of learning that happened there. Here are 10 fun facts about Athens, Greece that you might not already know: 1. Athens was at the centre of an area known as Attica. Weird Fact: The first modern king of Greece was a Bavarian prince and only 17 years old. As of May 2019, the population of Athens is about 3 million people. Notably, in 2004 the world came to the city for the Olympic Games, which spurred a dramatic makeover for Athens. The city covers a total area of 412 square kilometers (159 square miles). It was a recreation of the route used by the legendary runner, Pheidippides, in 490 BC to announce the Athenian victory against the Persians at the battle of Marathon 25 miles away. 7. Here are 12 facts about the Acropolis of Athens. It is the birth place of democracy and the heart of the Ancient Greek civilization. Athens is the capital of Greece. Her temple was the Parthenon. Acropolis holds the world’s oldest weather station The city was home to Plato's Academy and Aristotle's Lyceum. During this time it grew from a small fishing village to the most important city in the ancient world. The Parthenon was made a Christian church. It’s believed the first Ancient Greek civilisations were formed nearly 4,000 years ago (approximately 1600 BC) by the mighty Mycenaeansof Crete (a Greek Island). Nevertheless, it is wrong to say that Athens is a mixture of East and West: it is Greek and, more particularly, Athenian. IT’S THE MOST FAMOUS OF MANY ACROPOLEIS. It is one of the oldest cities in the world, having survived over 3000 years. In addition to building a raft of new sports venues and facilities (including a stadium designed by Santiago Calatrava), Athens undertook massive transportation infrastructure improvements that included dramatic expansion of public transportation and the construction of a new international airport. Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. It is a center for economic, political, financial and culture life in Greece. Records show the city’s origins go back to around 3,400 years ago, also making it one of the oldest cities in the ... Athens has experienced almost every form of government. The city started to decline in 529, when the Emperor Justinian I closed its philosophical schools. Fun Fact: Every full moon in August, the Acropolis stays open until 2am with live music and theatrical performances; it is free to all. There were many important city-states in Ancient Greece, but Athens was perhaps the most important and the most powerful. The kings ruled both cities. The sporting event known as the "Marathon" was created for the first Modern Olympic games set in Athens in 1896. 3.8 million. Athens - Athens - The city plan: In 1833 there was almost no Athens at all. When approached from the west, from elsewhere in Europe, what strikes the visitor is the influence of the East—in the food, music, and clamorous street life—perhaps vestiges of a time when Athens was divorced from European society under the yoke of Ottoman rule. 5. Fun & Interesting Facts about Athens Along with being the capital of Greece, Athens is also the capital of the Attica Periphery and the Athens Prefecture. 3. It has been continuously habited for at least 3,000 years Find out how much you can save Here are some facts about Ancient Athens. The reason for this, is that Ancient Greece was not a country, but a collection of independent city states. Of course, the poetic impulse to make a good story better leads to considerable exaggeration in daily conversation, suiting a vanity that goes with a sharp-edged sense of personal and family honour and the spoiling of children. It also had its own Constitution. King Otto (see fact 7) changed it from the Port of Nafplio in 1834 for sentimental reasons related to the city's glorious past. 12. Athens is one of the oldest cities in the world and has been continuously inhabited for around 7,000 years! Athens is named after Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom and war, and daughter of Zeus. Ancient Athens spanned several thousand years, from about 6,000 BC to about 322 BC. 10 Facts About Athens To Know About. It Was Settled In Prehistoric Times It was also the first Greek city-state to adopt a fully democratic system of government. Discover interesting Athens facts. Athens is the capital and the largest city of Greece. Though it is blessed with an incredible history and a rich culture, there are many known and unknown facts about Athens. The ancient Olympic games were never actually held there. 12. She sprang from Zeus’s head, full-grown and clothed in armor. According to the Greek mythology, Cecrops, who was half man and half serpent, founded Athens and became the first king. One of the weird facts about Athens, is that it only became the capital city of Greece relatively recently. The Ancient Greek Empire spread from Greece through Europe and, in 800 BC, the Greeks started to split their land into city-states, each with its own laws, customs and rulers. Athens is the capital of Greece and also its largest city. Athens remains on the world stage to this day. So, let’s take a look at 12 facts about the sacred hill of Athens. The climate of the city permits outdoor activity the year round and has had an important effect on both the style of architecture and the life and political institutions of the city. It is the oldest civilization where the first recorded human inhabitants were in 3000 BC. Facts about Ancient Athens will inform you about the largest city of Greece. Below you can discover eleven curiosities that are real, even if they are weird or funny, so please make sure to vote what you think is interesting! Omissions? The city center of Athens is only 15 sq miles or 39 sq kilometers. Athens took its name from the goddess Athena, the goddess of wisdom and knowledge.Sparta, a town near the river Evrotas, is located in the center of t… The long oral tradition, alive even under the invader, has reflected and stimulated a taste for rich talk. Athens is Europe’s oldest capital. Other city states in Greece also applied democracy, but the records for the application were abundant in Athens. In this quiz you’ll be presented with the names of 195 capital cities. Hitler and Rommel were there on the eve of the Soviet Invasion. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. Athena was the Goddess of War, the female counterpart of Ares. It was known as a beautiful public buildings, public bath, shops, and busy city. 11. During the fight for independence, it had been entirely evacuated in 1827, and six years later it held perhaps 4,000 people in the straggle of little houses on the north slope below the Acropolis. The story of Athena is very similar to the story of the founding of Greece. Athens is one of the oldest cities in the world as well, with recorded history going back over 3400 years. The first settlers in Athens were from various ethnic groups that were organized in several kingdoms. Updates? She was Zeus’s favorite child. The surrounding mountains—Párnis, 4,636 feet (1,413 metres); Pentelicus (Pendéli), 3,631 feet; Hymettos (Imittós), 3,365 feet; and Aigáleon, 1,535 feet—add to the impression of barrenness. Hence, it became a symbol of Athenian economic prosperity. Professor of Archaeology, American School of Classical Studies at Athens, 1949–71. Athens is the third largest city in Europe and it is the home of ancient civilization. Many important people wandered its streets throughout time. So, here is a compilation for you to check out. If it … To put its age into perspective: the first... 2. 1 % Athens cradle of Western civilisation. The people of Athens believed that no one group of people should make the laws and so citizens could choose the government officials, and vote for or against new laws. Athens is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens is the symbol of freedom, art, and democracy in the conscience of the civilized world. 1. City Of Athens Facts 42. They established themselves near the crag, which later would become the Acropolis. According to Homer’s account in the Iliad, Athena was a … The city was freed in 1833, and in the following 170 years it was the scene of more than a dozen revolutions, another brutal foreign occupation, and a civil war of especial savagery. Acropolis is a rocky hill and most of … Six display archaeological treasures uncovered during the metro's construction. Athens, with its tall buildings and contemporary shops, is the first European city when approached from the Middle East. 8. Key Facts & Information Basic Facts of Athens and Sparta. During German occupation (1941-1944) it was used as Nazi HQ. Athens Facts For Kids – Ancient Greek History. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. It is located in Central Greece in the southern part of the region of Attica. 9. Athens was the largest and most influential of the Greek city-states. Athens, Modern Greek Athínai, Ancient Greek Athēnai, historic city and capital of Greece. Facts about Ancient Greece Government give the interesting ideas and philosophies of the government in ancient Greece. Actress, activist, and Minister of Culture, Melina Mercouri, is credited with the establishment of the institution, the "European Capital of Culture." 2. Looking for amazing facts and informations about Athens? The Horologium and the Orthodox cathedrals, Ancient History Encyclopedia - Athens, Greece, Athens - Children's Encyclopedia (Ages 8-11), Athens - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). 1. It is really worth a visit, and to make … The first history of Athens was recorded around 3,400 years ago making it Europe's oldest capital and one of the oldest cities of the world. Today, the population of Athens including its parent state Attica, reaches the number of approx. The people of Athens chose their ruler. 2.The Greeks had some strange superstitions about food – some wouldn’t eat beans as they thought t… 1. Fact 26: Athena offered the first olive tree as a gift to Athens. Athens also created the world's first known democracy. Athens lies 5 miles (8 km) from the Bay of Phaleron, an inlet of the Aegean (Aigaíon) Sea where Piraeus (Piraiévs), the port of Athens, is situated, in a mountain-girt arid basin divided north-south by a line of hills. The millennia of oppression, instead of driving the Athenians into obtuse moroseness, have honed their wit and rendered them tough but supple, while centuries of privation have only preserved their warmth and generosity. The Greek Orthodox Church, which is directed by a synod sitting in Athens, was a main force in keeping alive the Greek language, tradition, and literature when such things were forbidden, and most people still support it. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Around the tenth century B.C., the settlers form… The nights are cool. It became capital during the reign of King Otto in 1834. They may have shared the same cultural, religious and linguistic heritage, but they were ruled independently. The first history of Athens was recorded around 3,400 years ago making it Europe's oldest capital and one of the... 2. In modern times, Athens is a large cosmopolitan metropolis and central to economic, financial, industrial, maritime, political and cultural life in Greece. Athena is one of the 12 Olympian Gods who resided atop Mount Olympus.The Olympians are a race of deities who are a third or fourth generation of immortal beings and they were worshiped as the principal deities of the Greek pantheon.The Olympians managed to become the supreme deities after a 10 year long struggle … Athens is statistically one of the lowest ranking capital cities when it comes to violent crime. The ancient heroes, too, were vain about both themselves and honour, boasting as much about outwitting the enemy as about outfighting him. Athens is one of the cities with the longest history in the world. This long history of passion and suffering has had considerable effect on the Athenian character. This olive tree brought various benefits to the city and its people, such as wood, food, and oil. The city of Athens, Greece, with its famous Acropolis, has come to symbolize the whole of the country in the popular imagination, and not without cause. Athens became the first in 1985. Athens lies 5 miles (8 km) from the Bay of Phaleron, an inlet of the Aegean (Aigaíon) Sea where Piraeus (Piraiévs), the port of Athens, is situated, in a mountain-girt arid basin divided north-south by a line of hills. Athens holds a special place in the history of Western Civilization. The Athens metro currently has twenty-eight stations, all of which exhibit artwork by contemporary Greek artists. Athens began as a small, Mycenaen community and grew to become a city that, at its height, epitomized the best of Greek virtues and enjoyed such prestige that the Spartans refused to sack the city or enslave the citizens, even after Athens' defeat in the Peloponnesian War. The Kifisós River, only a trickle in summer, flows through the western half; the Ilisós River, often dry, traverses the eastern half. Athens is one of the great cities of the world. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Back then it was a small town with only 10,000 citizens. The oldest hotel in Athens, The Grand Bretagne, was first the royal guesthouse. It had many fine buildings and was named after Athena, the goddess of wisdom and warfare. Interesting Facts about Athens 1. It’s Europe’s oldest capital city. Athens is the capital and largest city in Greece, With a population of about 3,5 million people and long history, Athens stretches on a large peninsula that is protected by mountains from all sides of the horizon: Mt Egaleo to the west, Mt Parnes to the north, Mt … 6. Athens, now the capital of Greece, is located on a peninsula that stretches southeastward into the Aegean Sea. Athens did not have a king, it was ruled by the people as a democracy. Raphael School of Athens Facts You Didn’t Know school_of_athens_painting_facts An architect and a relative to Raphael who took him to Pope Julius II, Bramante actually helped Raphael with the architectural elements in the painting , hence so having an awful resemblance to the St. Peter’s Basilica. Some three centuries after the death of Pericles (429 bce), Athenians entered upon a period of bondage that lasted almost 2,000 years. The Romans, the Byzantines, the Latin crusaders, the Ottomans, and finally the modern Greek state, all left their mark on the rocky hill. The most important cities in ancient Greek were Sparta and Athens. Athens is a Beta global city according to the Globalization and World Cities Research Network, and is one of the biggest economic centers in southeastern Europe. Please select which sections you would like to print: Corrections? The origins of Athens date back to 3000BC, making it one of the oldest cities in the world. This set a mod… Athens was part of the Ottoman Empire (1458-1832) while the rest of Western Europe was experiencing the Renaissance and the Industrial Revolution. The Athens Larger Urban Zone (LUZ) is said to be the 8th most populated LUZ in the European Union. 4. The climate of Athens is benign: frost is rare (the minimum temperature is 32 °F, or 0 °C) and snow seldom lies, while the summers, though hot (maximum temperature is 99 °F, or 37 °C), are dry, and a fresh northeasterly wind often blows by day. 1. Before hosting the 2004 Olympic Games, all of the street signs of Athens had to be changed to include a Latin spelling under the Greek. Athens was a powerful city in Classical times. The Ottoman T… Both Athens and Sparta hold historic value for Greece and the world. Athens was a great center for art, literature, philosophy, and education. And the Industrial Revolution the Grand Bretagne, was first the royal guesthouse check. 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