Athens, the cradle of Antiquity
Located at the far edge of Europe, Athens is one of those eastern Mediterranean historical cities whose splendor never changes yet remains definitely modern. The name of Athens comes from a glorious past rooted in mythology. It was named for Athena, the city's protective goddess, in about 800 BC. The city's golden age was in the 5th century BC. Many of the remarkable buildings were constructed during that period in the Acropolis, such as the Parthenon. Since that time, the city has experienced a tormented history with many influences from the Byzantine and the Ottoman Empires. Athens was destroyed many times, particularly during the war for independence during the 1820s and the civil war that began in 1946.
Today, the Greek capital is one of the major cities in European culture. It has a small population of only about 745,000. However, the greater region includes more than 3 million inhabitants. Air France offers daily flights to Athens via Paris, departing from JFK New York and other major US airports
The Acropolis is the sacred area in the center of Athens, which used to be a large sanctuary dedicated to Athena. It is very impressive, perched on top of a high hill. The Acropolis includes the city's most famous monuments and ruins:
- The Parthenon,
- The Temple of Athena,
- The Erechtheion,
- The Temple of Hephaestus,
- The Propylaea
- The Odeon of Herodes Atticus
It is on UNESCO's World Heritage list. Ancient history and archeology buffs must visit the Acropolis Museum.
Near the Acropolis, the theater of Dionysus is also remarkable. It was built to honor Dionysus, the god of wine, theater and tragedy. It could hold 17,000 spectators.
The Agora, located at the foot of the Acropolis, provides insight into how the city of Athens operated. The square was the center of public and political life, used both as a market and a place where political decisions were made.
Those who love ancient history will be satisfied with the city's numerous museums.
Greece is a member of the European Union and the currency is the euro. As a US citizen, you do not need a visa to visit Greece for up to 90 days, but you must have a valid passport.