Coordinates: 37°58′N 23°43′E / 37.967°N 23.717°E / 37.967; 23.717
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Seal of Athens
Seal of Athens
Athens is located in Greece
Coordinates 37°58′N 23°43′E / 37.967°N 23.717°E / 37.967; 23.717
Time zone: EET/EEST (UTC+2/3)
Elevation (min-max): 70 - 338 m (230 - 1109 ft)
Country: Greece
Periphery: Attica
Districts: 7
Mayor: Kostas Bakoyannis  (New Democracy)
(since: 1 September 2019)
Population statistics (as of 2011[1])
 - Population: 3,737,550
 - Area: 2,928.717 km² (1,131 sq mi)
 - Density: 1,276 /km² (3,305 /sq mi)
 - Population: 655,780
 - Area: 38.964 km² (15 sq mi)
 - Density: 16,830 /km² (43,591 /sq mi)
Postal: 10x xx, 11x xx, 120 xx
Telephone: 21
Auto: Yxx, Zxx, Ixx (excluding ZAx and INx)

Athens is one of the most famous cities in the world. It is the capital city of Greece and the most important financial, industrial, maritime, political, and cultural center of the country.

It is also one of the world's oldest cities. 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. It is in the prefecture, or division of the country, of Attica. Its port, Piraeus, is the largest passenger port in Europe, and the second-largest port in the world.

Athens has a borderline cold semi-arid climate (BSk in the Köppen climate classification) and a hot-summer Mediterranean climate (Csa in the Köppen climate classification). The average rainfall is relatively low, due to the rain shadow from the Parnitha mountains. Frost is infrequent and snow does not occur every winter.

History[change | change source]

Ancient Athens was a powerful city in Classical times. It was known for its philosophy and learning. The city was home to various ancient philosophers. Its schools of philosophy included Plato's Academy and Aristotle's Lyceum.

The Parthenon, a temple dedicated to the goddess Athena, is the most famous of its ancient monuments. It was built between 447 BC and 438 BC and its decoration continued until 431 BC. Athens had its own Constitution and it created the world's first known democracy.

The city started to decline in 529 AD when the Emperor Justinian I closed its philosophical schools. The Parthenon was made a Christian church. That saved it later from the destruction of non-Christian temples, in the theocracy which followed Justinian's conversion.

The Ottoman Turks took control of Athens in 1458. The Turks made the Parthenon into a Muslim mosque. The Parthenon was later damaged in 1687 when gunpowder exploded inside it.

Athens was freed from the Turks during the Greek War of Independence (1821–1833). It was an unimportant little town then, but the Greeks made it their capital.

Athens is home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Acropolis of Athens and the 11th-century Daphni Monastery.

Events[change | change source]

Museums[change | change source]

There are many museums in the city. Some of the most important ones are:

The National Archaeological Museum in central Athens
  • the National Archaeological Museum, the largest archaeological museum in the country. It has a vast collection of antiquities from more than 5,000 years (late Neolithic Age to Roman Greece);
  • the Benaki Museum with several branches;
  • the Byzantine and Christian Museum, an important museum of Byzantine art;
  • the National Art Gallery, the most important art gallery in Greece;
  • the National Museum of Contemporary Art, which opened in 2000 in a former brewery building;
  • the Numismatic Museum, housing a major collection of ancient and modern coins;
  • the Museum of Cycladic Art, art from the islands, including its famous figurines of white marble;
  • the New Acropolis Museum, opened in 2009, replacing the old museum on the Acropolis. Almost one million people visited during summer June–October 2009.
  • the Kerameikos Archaeological Museum, a museum that displays artifacts from the burial site of Kerameikos. Much of the pottery and other artifacts show Athenian attitudes to death and the afterlife, through many ages.
  • the Jewish Museum of Greece, a museum that describes the history and culture of the Greek Jewish community.

Infrastructure[change | change source]

The Athens International airport "Eleftherios Venizelos" is the largest international airport in Greece and it opened in 2001.

The Athens Metro, inaugurated in January 2000, is the only metro system in Greece. It has a total of three lines. It is famous for many of its stations that feature works of art and displays of the archeological remains found during its construction.

The Athens Tram has a total length of 27 km and covers ten Athenian suburbs from Syntagma Square (the central square of Athens) to the southwestern part of the city. The tram network is still under construction as it will be extended toward the port of Piraeus.

The Attiki Odos is a modern motorway system that runs in the greater Athens metropolitan area and has a total length of 65 kilometers.

Sister cities[change | change source]

Athens has these sister cities:

References[change | change source]

  1. "(875 KB) 2001 Census" (PDF). National Statistical Service of Greece (ΕΣΥΕ) (in Greek). Retrieved 2007-10-30.
  2. "Sister Cities of Los Angeles". Archived from the original on 2007-01-04. Retrieved 2008-06-01.
  3. "Home". Chicago Sister Cities.
  4. "Beijing Official Website International". Archived from the original on 2008-05-16. Retrieved 2008-06-01.

Other websites[change | change source]