Greece Guide

Archive for April, 2008

Athens

Posted by greeceguide on April 30, 2008

Athens (pronounced /ˈæθənz/; Αθήνα, Athina [aˈθina]), the capital and largest city in Greece, dominates the Attica periphery: as one of the world’s oldest cities, its recorded history spans at least 3,000 years.

The Greek capital has a population of 745,514 (in 2001) within its administrative limits[1] and a land area of 39 km² (15 sq mi).[3] The urban area of Athens extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of 3.37 million (in 2005).[4] The area of Athens prefecture spans 412 km² (159 sq mi)[3] and encompasses a population of 3.192.606.[1] The Athens Larger Urban Zone (LUZ) is the 8th most populated LUZ in the European Union with an estimated population of 3.89 million (in 2001).[5] A bustling and cosmopolitan metropolis, Athens is central to economic, financial, industrial, political and cultural life in Greece. It is rapidly becoming a leading business centre in the European Union.

Classical Athens was a powerful city-state. A centre for the arts, learning and philosophy, home of Plato’s Academy and Aristotle’s Lyceum,[6][7] Athens was also the birthplace of Socrates, Pericles, Sophocles, and its many other prominent philosophers, writers and politicians of the ancient world. It is widely referred to as the cradle of Western civilization and the birthplace of democracy,[8][9] 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.[10]

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 the Parthenon on the Acropolis, widely considered an important landmark of early Western civilization. The city also retains a vast variety of Roman and Byzantine monuments, as well as a small number of remaining Ottoman monuments projecting the city’s long history across the centuries. Landmarks of the modern era are also present, dating back to 1830 (the establishment of the independent Greek state), and taking in the Greek Parliament (19th century) and the Athens Trilogy (Library, University, and Academy).

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, with great success.

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Greece

Posted by greeceguide on April 30, 2008

Greece (Greek: Ελλάδα, Elláda, IPA: [ɛˈlaða], or Ελλάς, Ellás, [ɛˈlas]), officially the Hellenic Republic [Ελληνική Δημοκρατία (ɛliniˈkʲi ðimokraˈtia)],[3] is a country in southeastern Europe, situated on the southern end of the Balkan Peninsula. It has borders with Albania, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Bulgaria to the north, and Turkey to the east. The Aegean Sea lies to the east and south of mainland Greece, while the Ionian Sea lies to the west. Both parts of the Eastern Mediterranean basin feature a vast number of islands. Greece lies at the juncture of Europe, Asia and Africa. It is heir to the heritages of ancient Greece, the Roman and Byzantine Empires,[4] and nearly four centuries of Ottoman rule.[5] Greece is regarded as the birthplace of democracy,[6] Western philosophy,[7] the Olympic Games, Western literature and historiography, political science, major scientific and mathematic principles, and Western drama[8] including both tragedy and comedy. Greece is a developed country, a member of the European Union since 1981,[9] a member of the Economic and Monetary Union of the European Union since 2001, NATO since 1952, the OECD since 1961,[10] the WEU since 1995 and ESA since 2005.[11] Athens is the capital; Thessaloniki, Patras, Heraklion, Volos, Ioannina and Larissa are some of the country’s other major cities.

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