Athens is the capital and the biggest city of Greece. It’s one of the most ancient cities of the world, with recorded history going back up to 3.200 b.C. Ancient Athens a walled city was a powerfull city/state that developed along with it’s port that was originally Faliro and later on Pireas. The center of arts, knowledge, philosophy head of Platon’s academy and Aristotele’s High Schol is widely regarded as the craddle of the Western Civilazation and birthplace of Democracy, due to the effect of it’s politic achievement during 50th and 40th century b.C. the rest of the then known European continent. Being a cosmopolitan mitropolis today, modern Athens is the center of financial, industrial, politic and cultural life. In 2012 Athens was classified as the 39th richest city in the world in terms of purchasing power and 77th most expensive according to a UBS study.
The urban area of Athens, ie the region of Athens and it’s suburbs, has a population of 3.181.872 residents according to the 2011 census and 462 c. km expansion compromising a total of 35 municipalities distributed into four regional sections (Central, North, South, West Athens area with a total of 2.641.511 residents), and other six belong to Piraeus Regional Unit. The city of Athens occupying the center of it, has a population of 664.046 residents (census 2011) and an area 39 square kilometers.
Piraeus historically known as the port of Athens, is the laregest port in Greece. The centers of both cities are within 9km previously divided Piraeus to Athens from uncreated or sparsely populated areas, but today after a large residential development of the capital in the 19th and 20th century, Piraeus has been connected with urban Athens.
Athens and Piraeus are the two major urban centers of Athens. But there are scattered smaller cities in Attica with significant populations, like Elefsina (25.000 inhabitants) in Thriassio, Megara (around 25.000 inhabitants) and Loutsa (about 21.000 inhabitants) in Eastern Attica, which have close economic relations with the two major cities.
According to Eurostat the Greater Urban Area of Athens, which essentially coincides with the Region of Attica, it is the 7th largest in the European Union (the 4th most populated EU capital) with a population estimated in 2004 at 4.013.368.
The heritage of the classical era evident in the city, by ancient monuments and artwork, the most famous of all the Parthenon, which is considered a key landmark of the ancient western civilaztion.The city still preserved Roman and Byzantine monuments, as well as small numbers of Ottoman monuments.
In Athens there are two world heritage monuments of UNESCO, the Acropolis and the medieval Daphni Monastery. Attractions in the modern era, dating from the establishment of Athens as the capital the indipendent Greek state in 1834, they include the Parliament Building (19th century) and the Athens Trilogy consisting of the National Library, the University and the Academy.
Athens hosted the first modern Olympics in 1896 and 108 years later, welcomed their return to the summer 2004 Olympics in Athens, the national Archaeological Museum, featuring the world’s largest collection of ancient Greek antiquities, and the new Acropolis Museum.
In the 19th century this name is returned as the official name of the city. In the city referred to the plural: “Athenians” Ancient Greece (Athens, hence the translation Athens in English) as an “settlement” of the scattered municipalities of Attica, which according to legend joined Theseus.In 1979, with the abandonment of Katharevousa the ‘Athens’ name was established as the official. However, frequent use remains the general plural (“Athens”), particularly in writing, legal or official reason.
Patron of Athens is St. Dionysius Areopagite. Often the city assigned the nickname “closes asti” meaning “glorious city”.