7th High School of Larissa
Athens

    Athens the capital and largest city of Greece, dominates the Attica periphery; as one of the world's oldest cities, its recorded history spans around 3,400 years.

    The Greek capital has a population of 745,514 (in 2001) within its administrative limits and a land area of 39 km2 (15 sq mi).  The urban area of Athens extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of 3,130,841 (in 2001)[1] and a land area of 412 km2 (159 sq mi).  According to Eurostat, the Athens Larger Urban Zone (LUZ) is the 8th most populous LUZ in the European Union (the 4th most populous capital city of the EU) with a population of 4,013,368 (in 2004). A bustling and cosmopolitan metropolis, Athens is central to economic, financial, industrial, political and cultural life in Greece and it is rated as an alpha- world city. It is rapidly becoming a leading business centre in the European Union. In 2008, Athens was ranked the world's 32nd richest city by purchasing power and the 25th most expensive in a UBS study.
 


    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,[10][11] 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. Landmarks of the modern era are also present, dating back to 1830 (the establishment of the independent Greek state), and taking in 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

 

Geography

     Athens sprawls across the central plain of Attica that is often referred to as the Attica Basin. The basin is bound by four large mountains; Mount Aegaleo to the west, Mount Parnitha to the north, Mount Penteli to the northeast and Mount Hymettus to the east of the Athens Metropolitan Area. The Saronic Gulf lies in the southwest. Mount Parnitha is the tallest of the four mountains (1,413 m (4,636 ft) and it has been declared a national park.

    Athens is built around a number of hills. Lycabettus is one of the tallest hills of the city proper and allows the entire Attica Basin to be seen. The geomorphology of Athens causes a temperature inversion phenomenon which, along with the failure of the Greek Government to control industrial pollution, is responsible for the air pollution problems the city has recently faced.

  

History

     The oldest known human presence in Athens is the Cave of Schist which has been dated to between the 11th and 7th millennium BC.[14] Athens has been continuously inhabited for at least 7000 years. Classical Athens became the leading city of Ancient Greece in the 5th century BC, with its cultural achievements laying the foundations of Western civilization. It was eventually overcome by its rival city-state of Sparta. By the end of Late Antiquity the city experienced decline followed by recovery in the second half of the Middle Byzantine Period (9th-10th centuries AD), and was relatively prosperous during the Crusades, benefiting from Italian trade. In 1453 it was conquered by the Ottoman Empire and entered a long period of decline.

    Athens re-emerged in the 19th century as the capital of the independent Greek state. In 1896 Athens hosted the first modern Olympic Games. In the 1920s a number of Greek refugees, expelled from Asia Minor after the Greco-Turkish War (1919-1922), swelled Athens' population; nevertheless it was most particularly following the World War II, and from the 1950s and 1960s, that the population of the city exploded, and Athens experienced a gradual expansion in all directions. In the 1980s it became evident that smog from factories and an ever increasing fleet of automobiles, as well as a lack of adequate free space due to overcongestion, had evolved into the city's most important challenges. A series of anti-pollution measures taken by the city's authorities in the 1990s, combined with a substantial improvement of the city's infrastructure (including the Attiki Odos motorway, the expansion of the Athens Metro, and the new Athens International Airport), considerably alleviated pollution and transformed Athens into a much more functional city.

 Plaka, Monastiraki, and Thission

     Plaka , lying just beneath the Acropolis, is famous for its plentiful neoclassical architecture, making up one of the most scenic districts of the city. It remains a traditionally prime tourist destination with a number of picturesque tavernas, live performances and street salesmen. Nearby Monastiraki (Greek: Μοναστηράκι), for its part, is well-known for its string of small shops and markets, as well as its crowded flea market and tavernas specialising in souvlaki. Another district notably famous for its student-crammed, stylish cafés is Theseum or Thission (Greek: Θησείο), lying just west of Monastiraki. Thission is home to the ancient Temple of Hephaestus, standing atop a small hill. This area also has a pictursque 11th Century Byzantine church, as well as a 15th Century Ottoman mosque.

Syntagma

Syntagma Square, (Greek: Σύνταγμα/Constitution Square), is the capital's central and largest square, lying adjacent to the Greek Parliament (the former Royal Palace) and the city's most noted hotels. Ermou Street, an approximately 1 km-long pedestrian road connecting Syntagma Square to Monastiraki, has traditionally been a consumer paradise for both Athenians and tourists. Complete with fashion shops and shopping centres promoting most international brands, it now finds itself in the top 5 most expensive shopping streets in Europe, and the tenth most expensive retail street in the world.[29] Nearby, the renovated Army Fund building in Panepistimiou Street includes the "Attica" department store and several upmarket designer stores.

  • Informations from WIKIPEDIA

 

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