About Athens, Greece

Athens, Greece is one of the world’s oldest cities. It is found in the Attica Basin, which is surrounded by four mountains: Mount Aigaleo, Mount Parnitha, Mount Pentilicus, and Mount Hymettus. The city of Athens is

built around a number of hills. One of the tallest hills is called Lycabettus and offers a great view of the Attica Basin. Athens’ recorded history spans almost 3,500 years, but it has been inhabited for at least 7,000.

The oldest known human presence in Athens dates back to between the 11th and 7th century in the Cave of Schist. It is unknown whether the city of Athens was named for its patron goddess Athena or if she was named after the city, but according to ancient Athenian founding myth, Athena would compete against Poseiden for patronage of the then unnamed city. Athena offered the Athenians the first domesticated olive tree and was declared the patron goddess of Athens.

As the first modern city, Athens consisted of the Acropolis, the ancient cemetery of Kerameikos, and the palace of the Bavarian King (which is now the Greek Parliament). During the 1920s, Athens would experience an increase in population due to refugees coming from Asia Minor after the Greco-Turkish War. The city is rich in history and culture. Monuments including the Parthenon and others from the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman eras can still be seen today.

Athens is home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Acropolis of Athens and the medieval Daphni Monastery. In 1834, following the Greek War of Independence, Athens was chosen as the capital for the newly independent Greek State. The city of Athens has hosted the Olympics three times: in 1896, 1906, and 2004. It is one of the few cities to host the Olympics more than once.

Area of Athens, Greece

Municipality: 38.964 km2
Urban: 412 km2
Metro: 2,928.717 km2

Population of Athens, Greece

664, 064

Top Attractions in Athens, Greece

Historical Museum in Syntagma SquareThe museum is located in the old Hellenic Parliament Building. The museum focuses on the 15th to 20th century in Greek history. Includes military costumes, flags, folk costumes, and more.
Lagonisi BeachAn organized beach with sun beds, umbrellas, and wooden paths. The scenic bay and sparkling water make it worth the 5 Euro entrance fee. There is a beach bar on site and tavernas, pizza places, and seafood restaurants nearby.
ParthenonThe ruins of a former temple, the Parthenon was dedicated to patron goddess Athena. Build in the mid-5th century it is considered the simplest of the classical Greek architecture orders, the Doric Order. Climb the steps to explore the ruins and take in the view.
Ancient Agora of AthensOnce the site of the marketplace in ancient times. These ruins were once the cultural, economic, and political center of the ancient world. Walk the paths once walked by the ancient Greeks.
The Monastery of DaphniConsidered a masterpiece of the Byzantine Empire, the 11th century monastery is a must-see. The building has been restored after an earthquake that did some damage. Take in the frescos, religious paintings, and icons.
ErechtheionThis is the second largest temple on the Acropolis. It features and unique and complex structure. Its most famous feature is the Porch of Caraytis with six statues.
Aristotle’s LyceumRuins dating back to 300 BC surrounded by plant life. The Lyceum was a Peripatetic School. Aristotle is said to have enjoyed walking through the trees of the grounds discussing philosophy, mathematics, and rhetoric.
Porto Rafti BeachKnown as one of the prettiest beaches in Attica. A convenient trip from the center of Athens, this beach makes a good choice for a relaxing afternoon. Porto Rafti is a family friendly beach with plenty of amenities nearby.
Church of the Holy ApostlesThis church dates back to 11th century. Anyone interested in history will enjoy the architecture and 17th century frescos. Found near the ancient Agora, you aren’t likely to miss this Byzantine church.

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