25 interesting facts about Athens

The city of Athens, the capital of Greece, is an amazing and very interesting place, thoroughly saturated with history. Some of its corners still remember ancient times, and the number of architectural sights here simply rolls over. It’s an insanely beautiful place, and it’s no wonder that millions of tourists come here every year.

Athens Facts

  1. In Greek, the name of the capital coincides with the name of the goddess Athena, who was considered the patroness of the city named after him.
  2. Athens is one of the oldest cities in the world, but despite its age, it is the youngest European capital. They became the capital of modern Greece only in 1834, and the first capital of the modern Greek state was the no less interesting city — Nafplio.
  3. Democracy, as a form of government, appeared here. This happened about three thousand years ago, when oratory began to develop and the institution of elections appeared.
  4. More than 4.5 million people live here, and the population density reaches 7500 people per 1 km².
  5. About 40% of the population of all of Greece lives in the suburbs of Athens (interesting facts about Greece).
  6. This is one of the few cities where the Olympic Games were held more than once – in 1896 and 2004.
  7. Before Athens was proclaimed the capital of Greece, the local population barely reached 5000 people. Over the past almost two centuries, it has increased hundreds of times.
  8. Athens got its name in honor of its patroness — goddess Athena, but not everyone knows that Poseidon was her rival for the right to be the patron of the city. According to legend, two deities were supposed to make a gift to the townspeople: Athena gave its inhabitants an olive tree, and Poseidon — water. The inhabitants almost unanimously decided that water was more important, but when they tried it, it turned out that it was salty and not suitable for eating or watering, so Athena won this dispute and became the eternal patroness of the Greek capital.
  9. At night, special workers scatter stones near the Parthenon so that tourists can take “pieces” of the ancient structure with them. If not for such measures, the Parthenon would have been dismantled for souvenirs long ago. The authorities of Rome do the same in the case of the Colosseum (interesting facts about the Colosseum).
  10. The first museum of modern art appeared here only in 2000, and until 2014 it did not even have its own building.
  11. One of Athens’ sister cities is Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine.
  12. The first modern Olympic Games were held in Athens in 1896. Athletes from 14 countries of the world took part in them.
  13. One of the most famous local attractions is the Acropolis of Athens. It was built over 2,000 years ago.
  14. Athens is one of the oldest cities in the world, with a history of over 3,400 years. And for the first time, ancient people showed up here somewhere between 7 and 11 millennia BC (interesting facts about ancient people).
  15. The parade of nations at the opening ceremony of each Olympics traditionally begins with the delegation of Greece, as the parent country of the Olympic Games, and ends with the delegation of the state where the Games are held. In 2004, when the Olympics were held in Athens, the conflict was resolved in this way: one Greek flag bearer opened the parade, and the rest of the Greek team walked at the end.
  16. In 1821, the struggle of the Greeks for independence from the Ottoman Empire began. In one of the battles, the Greeks laid siege to the Athenian Acropolis. When the Turks began to run out of ammunition, they began to open the columns of the Parthenon, remove the lead fasteners from there and cut them into bullets. Upon learning of this, the Greeks themselves sent a batch of lead to the enemy in order to prevent the destruction of the monument.
  17. Now Athens is one of the world’s main centers for archaeological research.
  18. When laying tunnels for the construction of the Athenian underground, about 50 thousand ancient artifacts were found. Some of them were sent to museums, and some were used to decorate the Athenian metro stations.
  19. It was in this city that such a sports discipline as a marathon race first appeared.
  20. There are 148 theaters in Athens. This is more than in any other city in the world.
  21. And the inhabitants of Athens have experienced almost all known forms of government in their own skin during their centuries-old history: monarchy, democratic state, socialism, capitalism and even communism.
  22. In ancient Greece, Athens was famous for its sandals. They are popular here to this day, and not only as a souvenir. The most expensive and authentic models are sewn exclusively by hand.
  23. Once a temperature of +48 degrees Celsius was recorded here. This is more than in any other city in Europe.
  24. Most historians agree that the first theaters in the world appeared in Athens.
  25. In 1985, Athens was awarded the title of European Capital of Culture, which is transitive. It was the Greek capital that became the first city to receive this status. Each year a new city is chosen.
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