Athens (Greece) – the most detailed information about the city with photos. The main attractions of Athens with a description, guidebooks and cards.
City of Athens (Greece)
Athens – the capital of Greece – the center of the historical region Attica. They are the largest city of the country, its economic and cultural center. Athens is one of the most significant ancient Greek polis and a symbol of Western civilization. This city, which many consider to be the cradle of European culture and science. Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Sophocles, Euripides lived and worked here. The city is named after the goddess of wisdom, Athena, and is known for its Acropolis, which is one of the most fascinating ancient ruins in the world with striking artifacts from the times of ancient Greece.
Athens is not just a relic of the past. It is lively, dynamic and modern capital. The appearance of the city was formed over thousands of years. history and several ancient great civilizations. Here you can find sights of ancient greece and roman empires, dazzling Byzantine churches and charming historic areas that still retain wonderful rustic atmosphere.
- Geography and climate
- Practical information
- How to get there
- Maps and guides
- Comments and reviews
Geography and climate
Athens is located in the southern part of Greece on the gulf Saronicos of the Aegean Sea. The city is located on the Athenian plain and surrounded by the mountains of Egaleo, Parnis, Pendelikon and Imitos. Such terrain features often cause smog and pollution the atmosphere. The rivers Kifissos, Ilisos and Pikrodaphni.
Athens in the evening
The climate is subtropical semi-desert. It is characterized by hot and dry summer. Winter is quite warm with very rare negative temperatures. For the year in Athens falls only 400 mm precipitation, most of which occur in the period from November to March. The most comfortable time to visit Athens is spring, when it usually keeps great warm weather.
- Population – more than 3 million people (agglomeration – more than 5 million person).
- The area is 412 km².
- Currency – Euro.
- Visa – Schengen.
- The language is Greek.
- Time – UTC +2, in summer +3.
- Large shopping centers: Athens Metro (90 stores) and Athens Heart (80 stores).
- The main shopping areas are Plaka, Kolonaki and Monastiraki.
- Athens is famous for its excellent Greek cuisine. Popular street food: gyros (greek shawarma), souvlaki (grilled kebabs in pita bread with tomatoes and onions), tiropita (cheese cake).
- Excellent fish and seafood can be tasted in the port Pireas.
- Clubs and bars are concentrated in the coastal zone, in the area of Plaka, Kerameikos and north of Ermou street.
- Although Athens is considered a safe city, fraud and theft occur quite often. Be alert and watch your stuff.
- Best areas to stay: Plaka, Monastiraki, Syntagmatos, Kukaki.
Athens is one of the oldest cities in Greece, which was founded in the seventh millennium BC There is a myth why the patron was chosen goddess Athena. The first Athenian king, Kekrop, proposed two the gods (Athena and Poseidon) argue for the protection of the new the city. For this it was necessary to bring a gift to the king. Poseidon hit a spring and a trident from the ground clogged the source, but the water in it was salty. Athena hit her spear and an olive rose from the ground tree. The gift of Athena Kekrop liked more.
The heyday of Athens fell on the 5th century BC. During this period, the city was one of the most important and powerful policies of ancient Greece along with Sparta. Here philosophy and culture flourished, and the political system was democracy. In the second half of the 5th century to AD the golden age of Pericles – the period of the greatest prosperity, in the time of which the Acropolis and Parthenon was built.
The heyday of Athens did not last long. After the Peloponnesian War, the city lost its position and in the Hellenistic era was subordinated Macedonia. In 146 BC Athens became an ally Rome, but joined during the uprising to his opponents. In year 86 BC. the city was plundered by the romans and incorporated into Roman empire. In the 3rd century AD Athens went into decline.
After the collapse of the Roman Empire, the city became part of Byzantium, and Christianity became the official religion. In the Middle Ages Athens lost their positions and turned into an ordinary provincial city. In 1458 the city was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire. AT 17-19 centuries Athens were at the turn of military conflicts between Ottoman Empire and other countries. During the wars were destroyed many ancient monuments and historical areas. In 1687 artillery of the Republic of Venice damaged the Parthenon.
In 1833, Athens was declared the capital of the Kingdom of Greece. AT The end of the 19th century intensified archaeological excavations and research. World War II, the city was occupied German troops.
How to get there
Athens Airport is located east of the city center and is the largest in Greece. From the airport to the city can be reached by subway (to the square Syntagmatos and Monastiraki) or on buses X93, X96 and X97 Railway transport in Greece is not the most developed. In fact, there are two railway lines to Athens: one leads south to Peloponess, the other to north to Thessaloniki.
Athens public transport is represented by metro, commuter trains, trams, trolley buses and buses. In all forms transport operates a single ticket. Metro has three lines: M1 (green) – connects the port and the northern suburbs through the city center, M2 (red) – connects western and southern Athens, M3 (blue) – connects the southwestern suburbs with northern suburbs and by the airport.
The most famous attraction of Athens is the sacred the hill is the Acropolis. Here are amazing ancient ruins ancient temples that symbolize the flowering of the Greek civilization.
The acropolis has a height of 156 meters and is visible almost everywhere. AT Antiquities here housed the royal palace, the majestic temples gods, objects of worship and numerous sculptures. Most The main buildings of the Acropolis were built during the reign of Pericles (5th century BC) in the heyday of Athens.
The most famous landmark of the Acropolis is magnificent Parthenon, which, despite the time, is one of the best preserved ancient Greek buildings of Athens. The Parthenon is considered the largest temple of the classical period of the Ancient Greece and is dedicated to Aphrodite. It was completed in 438 BC. Temple known for its monumental Doric columns and was decorated numerous sculptures.
Temple of Niki Apteros
Among the ancient ruins of the Acropolis is the temple of Niki Apteros, built in 427-424 years BC and dedicated Athena-victor, propily (the main entrance, formed columns and porticos), Erechtheion, a temple built between 421–406 years BC and dedicated to Athena, Poseidon and King Erechtheus.
All the buildings and ruins of the Acropolis:
- Statue of Athena Promachos.
- Temple of Niki Apteros.
- Athenian altar.
- Sanctuary of Zeus Polyeia.
- The sanctuary of Pandion.
- Odeon of Herodes Atticus.
- Standing Eumenes.
- Theater of Dionysus.
- Odeon of Pericles.
- Temenos Dionysus.
- Sanctuary of Aglavra.
At 300 meters is the Acropolis Museum, which is one of the most important modern buildings of Athens and built of steel, glass and concrete. Here are kept valuable treasures and antiquities that found here during excavations.
Temple of Zeus Olympic or Olympion
From the Acropolis to the city leads an archaeological path, where you can see the other antiquities of Athens, which belong to different periods and cultures. So, at the foot of the hill, the ruins of Olympion are located, temple dedicated to Zeus. It was the largest building of ancient Greece It began to be built in the 6th century BC. and finished only at 2 century AD under the Roman emperor Adriana. More than a hundred huge The marble columns were once supported by a grandiose sanctuary. Before of our time, only 15 of them have survived.
Theater of Dionysus
The Theater of Dionysus is located on the southern side of the Acropolis and is considered The oldest buildings of this type in Greece. On this scene were presented many of the most famous ancient greek comedies and tragedy. The theater, originally built as a temple, dates from 6 century BC He was dedicated to Dionysus, the god of fun and wine, and could to accommodate 17,000 people.
Ancient Agora was the market and center of everyday life in the ancients. Athens. Most of the surviving ruins date back to the Roman period. and date back to the 1st century AD The agora was surrounded by colonnades and in columns. It also held sports events and theater performances. East is located 12-meter tower The wind.
A great view of Agora opens from the north wall of the Acropolis.
Arch of adriana
The Arch of Hadrian was built in 131 AD. and symbolizes the entrance to the ancient city. Not far from the western slope of the Acropolis is located Pnyx hill. Here the citizens of Athens could realize their democratic rights. Southwest of the Athenian Acropolis is located the hill of Filopappa, which was known as the hill of the Muses and retained several ancient ruins. Also here is a tiny 12th century Byzantine chapel with frescoes of the 18th century.
The core of the historical center of Athens is Plaka, located on the east side of the Acropolis. This area has been inhabited. since ancient times. Now it is a labyrinth of narrow blooming picturesque streets with traditional houses of the 19th century. Plaka famous for its provincial atmosphere (sometimes it’s hard to believe that this is the center of a noisy metropolis), nice restaurants and historical churches.
From Plaka, the Athenian streets will lead to Monastiraki Square, which is one of the central squares of old Athens with narrow small streets and small buildings. The square is held traditional bazaar (Yousouroum). Monastiraki is a popular shopping more than 2000 of the most diverse shops.
Anafiotika is another atmospheric village quarter of Athens, located north of the Acropolis. Here tourists can enjoy traditional Greek food and stroll through the winding streets in Cycladic style. Anafiotika was built in the 60s 19 century.
Odeon of Herodes
Odeon of Herodes – Ancient Roman theater, built in the 2nd century AD on the steep slopes of the Acropolis by Herod Atticus in memory of his wife The theater accommodated 6,000 spectators and was restored in the 1950s years
The Olympic Stadium was built in the 19th century for the first modern Olympiad. It seats 50,000 spectators and is the largest sports facility, made entirely of marble. The first stadium at this place was built in the 3rd century BC. and rebuilt in the year 144. In ancient times, the stadium was held a religious festival dedicated to the goddess Athena every four of the year.
Church of the Virgin Kapnikarei
The Church of Our Lady of Kapnikarei is a magnificent example of the Byzantine 11th century architecture. The church is located on one of the central streets of Athens – Ermu.
Church of the Saints Apostles
The Church of the Holy Apostles is a 10th century religious building on the site of the ancient Agora, built in the typical Byzantine style. Inside the dome is decorated with original frescoes. Also preserved much of the ancient iconostasis of the 11th century.
Syntagmatos Square is the central square of modern Athens. In front of the building of the Greek Parliament is the presidential guard in national costumes. A change of guard takes place in front of the monument. Unknown soldier at 11 am daily.
Interesting museums of Athens:
- The National Archaeological Museum is one of the largest museums of Greece, which has one of the largest expositions Antiquities in the world. The building of 8,000 square meters includes 11,000 exhibits.
- The Byzantine Museum – more than 25,000 exhibits representing a treasure trove of religious artifacts of the Byzantine period, and also works of the early Christian, medieval and post-Byzantine art.
- Museum of Cycladic Art – ancient exhibits found on Cycladic Islands and Cyprus.
Maps and guides
Acropolis Map Metro and Tram Map