View Larger Map
Named after Athena, goddess of wisdom and knowledge, Athens is generally considered to be the cradle of Western civilisation. With the earliest traces of settlement dated as far back as 5000 BC, Athens became the strongest Greek city-state around 500 BC, entering its Golden Age after emerging victorious from the Persian Wars. The city enjoyed a cultural explosion that ended with the Peloponnesian War (431-401 BC), but Athenian achievements in philosophy, drama and art continued even after the city’s glory faded, creating a legacy that conquered the world as Hellenistic culture.
Modern-day Athens, the home of 4,500,000, is an important political, social, cultural and economic centre in the Balkans and Southeast Europe holding a great fascination for large numbers of year-round visitors. One of the most exciting art and music centres in the world, the city is pulsing with life, famous for its annual festivals, glamorous and glitzy image, pricey boutiques and luxurious hotels.
Athens' most famous monument is that of the Parthenon on the Acropolis. Unsurpassed in beauty and sophistication it is the largest Doric temple built in mainland Greece and is almost entirely constructed out of Pentelic marble. The Acropolis Museum coupled with the Archaeological Museum of Athens house unique treasures. Other places of historical interest include: the Greek and Roman Ancient Agoras, Keramikos which served as the cemetery of the city from Mycaenean to Roman times, the Temple of Olympian Zeus which is the largest classical temple in the world. It is impossible to exhaust the ancient treasures, nonetheless, it should be noted that the major attractions of antiquity are located within walking distance from each other.
Not far from the capital there are many attractions that are ideal destinations for leisurely day trips. Choose to explore the 11th century Kaisariani Monastery, the battleground, tomb and museum at Marathon, the archaeological site of Ramnous and the splendid Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion rising over a stretch of coastline dotted with luxurious hotels.
Gregarious, hospitable and relaxed, Athenians enjoy life to the full. Indulge in the more elementary pleasures of enjoying good food and wine, updating your wardrobe, or generally pursuing la dolce vita. Nightlife in Athens does not end till the break of dawn.
Cultural events including dance and theatre, recitals, concerts, international trade shows, conferences and symposia, public lectures, gallery exhibits, sports events and marathons, an integral part of life in this bustling cosmopolitan capital.
Athens has been the choice of Professional Congress Organisers (PCO's) who have long ago been aware of the advantages involved in holding events in the Greek capital. Advanced infrastructures equipped with the latest technologies for meetings and congresses, air and land transport facilities, a luxurious hotels network -- among the best in the world -- and a climate that is very attractive to congress-goers, are just a few of the factors that have made Athens a success in this area.
Athens has something for everybody and Athenians have a good reason to be proud of their city.
The photos 1.Acropolis, 5.Plaka, 7.Psyri, 8. Monastiraki were taken by photographer Y.Skoulas and photo 3.Acropolis Museum by photographer G.Vitsaropoulos and belong to the website www.visitgreece.gr.