Athens - Greece,
Athens hotels, Acropolis, Athens hotels, photos and Athens Info Guide
||Athens - Greece - The
exuberant and chaotic traffic in the city center hardly touches the people
in the crowd. The drone of traffic and car horns has little effect on the
people in the countless sidewalk cafes. Even the businessmen who hectically
weave through the mass of people seem composed in spite of their haste.
The Athenian does not forget to laugh or show their disarming friendliness,
or express pride in their city, which continues to grow in this new millennium.
Athens. The city with
the most glorious history in the world, a city worshipped by gods and people,
a magical city. The enchanting capital of Greece has always been a birthplace
for civilization. It is the city where democracy was born and most of the
wise men of ancient times. The most important civilization of ancient world
flourished in Athens and relives through some of the world's most formidable
Little remained of Athens
when it became capital of Greece in 1834. Only four thousand people lived
in the small row of houses on the northern hillside of the Acropolis when
King Otto was imported from Bavaria as ruler of the Greeks. Initially the
eighteen-year-old son of Ludwig I had to make do with a modest two-story
house while his German architects prepared plans for his palace and a new
landscape for Athens.
People returned as the
city was rebuilt. In 1921 the Greeks and Turks exchanged their minorities
and of the half million Greeks who had to leave Asia Minor half of them
poured into Athens. Then those working the land increasingly sought work
in the capital and with a building boom in the 1950s the city expanded
beyond all previous boundaries. By the 1960s Athens had once again become
one of the most interesting metropolises of Europe. With new plans this
city of one million people is on its way to becoming a modern world metropolis.
Having exported chaos,
drama, tragedy and democracy before most nations were staying up late enough
to want souvlaki, Greece boasts an unrivalled legacy. But don't expect
a visit there to be a sober study of the ancient world - the Greek propensity
for partying dates back to Dionysos.
Who hasn't heard of the Acropolis
of Athens? Photos and history of the most famous archaeological monument
in Europe have made the world tour causing feelings of admiration by thousands
of people. Acropolis is nominated to be one of the 7 wonders of modern
world. In fact the trademark of Athens is one of the favorites. The Holy
Rock of Acropolis dates back to the 5th BC, the famous Golden Age of Periklis.
Athens met times of bloom and decline, but still shines under the Attic
sky gazing the future. Still sparkling like the marbles of Parthenon and
the limpid white of Pentelic marble.
Athens is constantly inhabited
since Neolithic Age. The 5th century was the time of its ultimate bloom,
when moral values and civilization surpassed city limits and became the
mother land of western civilization. In the centuries that followed, many
conquerors tried to take over Athens. In 1834 Athens was chosen to be the
capital of the newly established Greek State. The city that now hosts more
than 4,5 million people, was constructed around the Acropolis walls. Today
it is the political, social, cultural, financial and commercial center
From sometimes smoggy
Athens to blindingly bright islands, ancient fragments abound - the navel
of the cosmos at Delphi, fallen columns galore on the sacred island of
Delos, frescoed Minoan palaces on Crete and even - as some might believe
- the remnants of Atlantis at Santorini.
Athens is a city of different
aspects. A walk around the famous historic triangle (Plaka, Thission, Psyri)
the old neighborhoods, reveal the coexistence of different eras. Old mansions,
well-preserved ones and other worn down by time. Luxurious department stores
and small intimate shops, fancy restaurants and traditional taverns. All
have their place in this city.
Today they may appear
as no more than another collection of ruins that scatter the city, but
they still attract huge numbers of visitors, simply because of their importance
and physical beauty.
The heart of Athens beats
in Syntagma Square. Where Parliament and most of the Ministries are. Monastiraki,
Kolonaki and Lycabettus Hill attract thousands of visitors all year round.
A few kilometers from the historic center in Faliro, Glyfada, Voula and
Vouliagmeni, you can enjoy the sea breeze. Or you can head up north and
enjoy the fresh air at the more classy neighborhoods of Marousi, Melissia,
Vrilissia and of course Kifisia.
|Festivals and Events
The Athens Festival is
the main cultural event during summer. The performances take place in several
venues including the historic Atticus Theater built in the 2nd century
AD and the Lykavitos Theater overlooking Athens. The highlight of the Festival
are the performances of ancient Greek drama taking place in the splendid
Epidaurus Theater near Athens, which was built in the 3rd century BC. Other
summer festivals take place in the numerous open-air theaters of the Athens
metropolitan area featuring concerts, theatrical plays and other performances.
Each autumn starts the concert season of the Athens Concert Hall, which
is host to the world's greatest performances. These and other indoor concerts
cater to a wide range of musical tastes. Athens boasts a lively theater
scene with dozens of theatrical companies showcasing their productions
ranging from conventional to avant-garde. Thousands of visitors are also
drawn to art exhibitions in the National Gallery and in other venues. In
addition, Athens is host to major sporting events such as the Athens Marathon
Run, which features the original Marathon-Athens route, the acclaimed Rally
Acropolis and sailing regattas taking place in the Saronic Gulf.