High School of Larissa
The Hellenic Republic,
is the southernmost country on the European mainland.
With an area of 131.940 square kilometres, Greece is
about the same size as England or New York state.
Greece's longest border is with the sea. Over 2,000
Greek islands are
scattered about the eastern Mediterranean, roughly 200
of them inhabited. The Greek mainland shares land
borders with Albania, the Former Yugoslav Republic of
Macedonia (FYROM), Bulgaria and Turkey.
is mostly dry and temperate, though it snows in the
mountains and in the north. The mild weather and
sheltered valleys of the region, along with the early
development of seafaring, contributed to the rise of
Ancient Greek Civilisation.
Athens, most powerful
of the ancient Greek city-states, was the world's first
democracy. Nearly 40% of the country's population
resides in the capital, the country's largest city and
most important commercial centre
Greece has a long
and eventful history. It was part of each of the great
empires - the Roman, the Byzantine and the Ottoman -
that ruled the region. Greece has strong historical ties
with southeastern and western Europe, Asia and Africa.
At the crossroads of so many civilisations, Greece is
gifted with a rich and fascinating cultural heritage.
The country's turbulent history has had remarkably
little effect on the Greek language. Modern Greek is
easily recognisable as the language of Plato.
Although more than half the population is classified as
urban, rural life retains a powerful influence. A strong
sense of community and family ties prevail even in the
busiest of metropolitan centres.
The vast majority
of the population speak Modern Greek, a language little
changed since the Classical Period. Several very small
linguistic minorities speak other languages including
Romany, Vlach, or Turkish.
Most Greeks belong to the
Greek Orthodox Church, which is governed by a synod of
metropolitan bishops, presided over by the Archbishop of
Athens. The largest religious minority is the
concentration of Greek Muslims in northeastern Thrace.
Some islands in the Ionian and Aegean have a significant
number of Catholics. Greece's
once vibrant Jewish community was nearly destroyed in
World War II.