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Facts About Athens Greece For Kids


Athens is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world’s oldest cities, with its recorded history spanning around 3,400 years. 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, largely due to the impact of its cultural and political achievements during the 5th and 4th centuries BC in later centuries on the rest of the then known European continent.

  • Today a cosmopolitan metropolis, modern Athens is central to economic, financial, industrial, political and cultural life in Greece.
  • In 2008, Athens was ranked the world’s 32nd richest city by purchasing power and the 25th most expensive in a UBS study.
  • 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.
  • Athens was the host city of the first modern-day Olympic Games in 1896, and 108 years later it welcomed home the 2004 SummerOlympics.
  • 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.
  • An etiological myth explaining how Athens acquired this name was well known among ancient Athenians and even became the theme of the sculpture on the West pediment of the Parthenon.
  • The first King of Greece, Otto of Bavaria, commissioned the architects Stamatios Kleanthis and Gustav Schaubert to design a modern city plan fit for the capital of a state.
  • Neoclassicism, the international style of this epoch, was the architectural style through which Bavarian, French and Greek architects such as Hansen, Klenze, Boulanger or Kaftantzoglou designed the first important public buildings of the new capital.
  • A series of anti-pollution measures taken by the city’s authorities in the 1990s, combined with a substantial improvement of the city’s infrastructure (including the Attiki Odos motorway, the expansion of the Athens Metro, and the new Athens International Airport), considerably alleviated pollution and transformed Athens into a much more functional city.
  • Snowfalls are more frequent in the northern suburbs of the city.
  • Daily average highs for July (1955–2004) have been measured at 33.7 °C (92.7 °F) at Nea Filadelfeia weather station, but other parts of the city may be even warmer, in particular its western areas in part due to industrialization or in the main several natural reasons, knowledge of which has been available from the mid-19th century.
  • Athens can refer either to the municipality of Athens or to the entire Athens Urban Area, which makes up the “City of Athens” that sprawls across the Attica Basin.
  • The Attica region itself is split into eight regional units, out of which the first four form Greater Athens, while the regional unit of Piraeus forms Greater Piraeus.
  • North Athens (Urban Area) West Athens (Urban Area) Central Athens (Urban Area) South Athens (Urban Area) Piraeus (Urban Area) East Attica (Metropolitan area) West Attica (Metropolitan Area) Islands Until 2010, the first four regional units above also made up the abolished Athens Prefecture (what is referred to as Greater Athens), which was the most populous of the Prefectures of Greece at the time, accounting for 2,664,776 people (in 2001), within an area of 139 sq mi.
  • Exarcheia is home to the Athens Polytechnic and the National Archaeological Museum; it also contains numerous important buildings of several 20th-century styles: Neoclassicism, Art Deco and Early Modernism.