The City of Athens (Modern Greek translation: Αθήνα, Athína, Katharevousa: Ἀθῆναι, Athine, Ancient Greek: Ἀθῆναι, Athēnai ), is the capital of Greece and by far the largest city.
This ancient city historically, intellectually, culturally and strategically, rules the Attica periphery and it is one of the world's truly great ancient cities, with a venerable history spanning over 3400 years. It’s spectacular ancient ruins, that dominate Athens, bare impressive testament to this heritage, that today still stirs and moves the myriad of tourists who flock to Athens to pay homage.
'Athens major' has a population of ¾ of a million people (in 2001) within its department limits and a total land area of 39 km2 (15 sq mi). The wide urban area of Athens extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of 3,130,841 (in 2001) and a land area of 412 km2 (159 sq mi). According to the European agency Eurostat, the Athens Greater Urban Zone (GUZ) is the 7th most populous GUZ in the European Union (the 4th most populous capital city of the EU) with a population of 4,013,368 (in 2004). This is a striking anomaly in a country with a total population of just over 11 million. This clearly indicates the national, economic and historical importance of Athens, which secured its pre-eminence over 2000 years ago.
|Climate data for Athens|
|Average high °C (°F)||12.5 |
|Daily mean °C (°F)||8.9 |
|Average low °C (°F)||5.2 |
|Precipitation mm (inches)||56.9 |
|Avg. precipitation days||12.6||10.4||10.2||8.1||6.2||3.7||1.9||1.7||3.3||7.2||9.7||12.1||87.1|
A true cosmopolitan metropolis, modern-day Athens is the epicentre to the economic, financial, industrial, political and cultural life of Greece and it is rated as an alpha- world city. In 2008, Athens was ranked the world's 32nd richest city by purchasing power and the 25th most expensive in a study. However all these figures have changed due to the economic woes associated with the economic meltdown, which has encompassed Greece and many other European and world countries, and is today a source of much anxiety.
Classical Athens was a pivotal and 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 (of a kind), elementarily due to the impact of its vivid cultural, strident architecture and political achievements during the 5th and 4th centuries BC, and the way this strongly influenced the rest of the extant 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. Athens is home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Acropolis of Athens and the medieval Daphni Monastery. Landmarks of the modern era, dating back to the establishment of Athens as the capital of the independent Greek state in 1833, include 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 Games in 1896, and 108 years later it welcomed home the 2004 Summer Olympics. Athens is home to the National Archeological Museum, featuring the world's largest collection of ancient Greek antiquities, as well as the new Acropolis Museum.
Athens Population Changes↓
|Year||City population||Urban population||Metro population|
|1921 (Pre-Population exchange)||473,000||–||–|
|1921 (Post-Population exchange)||718,000||–||–|
Greece: Divisions of Administration↓
|Map||Number||Periphery||Capital||Area (km²)||Area (sq mi)||Population|
|5||East Macedonia and Thrace||Komotini||14,157||5,466||611,067|
|–||Mount Athos (Autonomous)||Karyes||390||151||2,26|