Athens: the gem in the ring of the earth
Apart from being the capital of Greece and one of the world's oldest cities, it is the living illustration of the highest achievements of its culture, which are reflected in the historical monuments of different epochs.
A bit of history
Athens has been continuously inhabited for at least 7000 years. The city can boast a very rich history – it had seen the Dorian invasion, the Greco – Persian wars, the rivalry with Sparta, the golden Age of Athenian democracy, the Ottoman rule and the Greek war of Independence. All historical periods left their mark on the city’s architecture. It’s the city of a unique destiny, the living illustration of the highest achievements of its culture, which are reflected in the historical monuments of different epochs.
The origin of the name
An etiological myth explaining how Athens acquired its name was well known among ancient Athenians and even became the theme of the sculpture on the western pediment of the Parthenon. Both Athena and Poseidon requested that they become patrons of the city and give their name to it, competing with one another for the honour, and offering the city one gift each. Poseidon produced a salt water spring by striking the ground with his trident, symbolizing naval power. Athena created the olive tree, symbolizing peace and prosperity. The Athenians, under their ruler Cecrops, accepted the olive tree and named the city after Athena.
Athens at a glimpse
Your acquaintance with Athens starts with the heritage of the classical era , which is still evident in the city, represented by ancient monuments and works of art, the most famous of all being the Parthenon, considered a key landmark of early Western civilization. The city also retains Roman and Byzantine monuments, as well as a smaller number of Ottoman monuments.