41 Facts About Athens


In modern times, Athens is a large cosmopolitan metropolis and central to economic, financial, industrial, maritime, political and cultural life in Greece.

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Athens is a Beta-status global city according to the Globalization and World Cities Research Network, and is one of the biggest economic centers in Southeastern Europe.

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Athens is the southernmost capital on the European mainland and the warmest major city in continental Europe with an average annual temperature of up to 19.

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Athens is home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Acropolis of Athens and the medieval Daphni Monastery.

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Athens is home to several museums and cultural institutions, such as the National Archeological Museum, featuring the world's largest collection of ancient Greek antiquities, the Acropolis Museum, the Museum of Cycladic Art, the Benaki Museum, and the Byzantine and Christian Museum.

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Athens was the host city of the first modern-day Olympic Games in 1896, and 108 years later it hosted the 2004 Summer Olympics, making it one of the few cities to have hosted the Olympics more than once.

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Athens joined the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities in 2016.

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Oldest known human presence in Athens is the Cave of Schist, which has been dated to between the 11th and 7th millennia BC.

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Athens has been continuously inhabited for at least 5, 000 years.

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Athens had by this time become a significant naval power with a large fleet, and helped the rebellion of the Ionian cities against Persian rule.

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However, this did not prevent Athens from being captured and sacked twice by the Persians within one year, after a heroic but ultimately failed resistance at Thermopylae by Spartans and other Greeks led by King Leonidas, after both Boeotia and Attica fell to the Persians.

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Decades that followed became known as the Golden Age of Athenian democracy, during which time Athens became the leading city of Ancient Greece, with its cultural achievements laying the foundations for Western civilization.

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Later, under Rome, Athens was given the status of a free city because of its widely admired schools.

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Athens expanded its settlement in the second half of the Middle Byzantine Period, in the ninth to tenth centuries AD, and was relatively prosperous during the Crusades, benefiting from Italian trade.

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The meteorology of Athens is deemed to be one of the most complex in the world because its mountains cause a temperature inversion phenomenon which, along with the Greek Government's difficulties controlling industrial pollution, was responsible for the air pollution problems the city has faced.

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Athens is the hottest city in mainland Europe and according to the Hellenic National Meteorological Service the Athens Basin is the warmest area of Greece with an average annual temperature of 19.

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The dominant feature of Athens' climate is alternation between prolonged hot and dry summers and mild, wetter winters with moderate rainfall.

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Furthermore, some coastal areas such as Piraeus in the Athens Riviera, have a hot semi-arid climate according to the climate atlas published by the Hellenic National Meteorological Service.

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Athens is affected by the urban heat island effect in some areas which is caused by human activity, altering its temperatures compared to the surrounding rural areas, and leaving detrimental effects on energy usage, expenditure for cooling, and health.

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The National Garden of Athens was completed in 1840 and is a green refuge of 15.

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Parts of the City Centre have been redeveloped under a masterplan called the Unification of Archeological Sites of Athens, which has gathered funding from the EU to help enhance the project.

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Athens Municipality is the largest in population size in Greece.

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Municipality of Athens is the most populous in Greece, with a population of 637, 798 people (in 2021) and an area of 38.

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Athens became the capital of Greece in 1834, following Nafplion, which was the provisional capital from 1829.

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Athens was ranked 102nd in that year's list of global economic metropolises, while GDP per capita for the same year was 32, 000 US-dollars.

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Athens is one of the major economic centres in south-eastern Europe and is considered a regional economic power.

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Athens is a major national hub for Intercity and international buses, as well as for domestic and international rail transport.

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Athens Tram is operated by STASY S A, a subsidiary company of OASA (Athens urban transport organisation).

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Athens is the hub of the country's national railway system, connecting the capital with major cities across Greece and abroad (Istanbul, Sofia, Belgrade and Bucharest).

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Rafina and Lavrio act as alternative ports of Athens, connects the city with numerous Greek islands of the Aegean Sea, Evia and Cesme in Turkey, while serving the cruise ships that arrive.

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All the activities of UNIWA are carried out in the modern infrastructure of the three University Campuses within the metropolitan region of Athens, which offer modern teaching and research spaces, entertainment and support facilities for all students.

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The centre of Athens was largely rebuilt, leading to the demolition of a number of neoclassical buildings.

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The Athens Planetarium, located in Andrea Syngrou Avenue, in Palaio Faliro is one of the largest and best equipped digital planetaria in the world.

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In 2018 Athens was designated as the World Book Capital by UNESCO.

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Athens has a long tradition in sports and sporting events, serving as home to the most important clubs in Greek sport and housing a large number of sports facilities.

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Athens has hosted the Summer Olympic Games twice, in 1896 and 2004.

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Athens has hosted the EuroLeague final three times, the first in 1985 and second in 1993, both at the Peace and Friendship Stadium, most known as SEF, a large indoor arena, and the third time in 2007 at the Olympic Indoor Hall.

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These clubs have basketball teams; Panathinaikos and Olympiacos are among the top powers in European basketball, having won the Euroleague six times and three respectively, whilst AEK Athens was the first Greek team to win a European trophy in any team sport.

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Athens area encompasses a variety of terrain, notably hills and mountains rising around the city, and the capital is the only major city in Europe to be bisected by a mountain range.

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Athens was awarded the 2004 Summer Olympics on 5 September 1997 in Lausanne, Switzerland, after having lost a previous bid to host the 1996 Summer Olympics, to Atlanta, United States.

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These claims were disputed and are likely to be inaccurate, as most of the facilities used for the Athens Olympics are either in use or in the process of being converted for post-Olympics use.

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