Athens, the world’s ancient capital where the Olympic Games were born has the history stretching for over 3,400 years. It is the capital of Greece with the population of 4,173,542 inhabitants, located in central Greece in the Attica region which offers additional antiquities, not only Athens. Some of these are the Temple of Poseidon at Sounion, or magnificent beaches near historic Marathon.
A today global city and the biggest economic centre of South-East Europe has once developed from a powerful city-state that grew as a result of the conjunction with the significant city - port of Piraeus. Often referred to as a cradle of Western civilization and the birthplace of democracy Athens have given to the world the heritage of indescribable value in form of Plato’s Academy and Aristotle’s Lyceum that continue to influence our culture until today.
Ancient monuments that can be found around the city remind its visitors of the richness of the Greek culture. Acropolis, built in the honour of goddess Athena, dominates Athens, and can be seen from almost any part of the city. With Parthenon on the top it mesmerizes visitors by the brightness of the Pantelic marble during the day, and rises radiantly illuminated above the city during the night.
On the southern side of Acropolis, world’s first theatre can be found. Introduced by the tyrant Peisistratos it started being used as a venue for the annual Festival of the Great Dionysia, god of wine and joy, in the 6th century BC. As the Festival was one of the major state’s events, governments sponsored dramas that were considered as a high form of art. Some of the most significant writers of that time whose plays were popular among audiences were Aeschylus, Sophocles or Euripides. At the time of construction the theatre had a capacity of 17,000 spectators with some of the seats remaining standing until these days.
Although Acropolis was, and still remains, the major site of Athens, the actual heart of the city in the ancient times was the Agora. Lively and crowded meeting point of administrative, social, commercial and political life where Socrates used to share his philosophy.
A can’t-miss site that has to be mentioned is a colossal Temple of Zeus which for the lack of funds took over 700 years to build. Started by Peisistratos, had to be abandoned and only later finished by Hadrian. With formerly 104 Corinthian columns of which remaining are 15, the site still breaths visitors with impresivness.
Moreover, Athens preserve also Roman, Byzantine or Ottoman monuments that all keep attracting still growing number of visitors. The city is a home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites – the Acropolis and the medieval Daphni Monastery.
Today, the city lively also due to the favourable weather conditions throughout the entire year. It is surrounded by breath taking seas and mountains and filled with welcoming and hospitable local citizens who are ready to accommodate every guest so that they feel just like at home.
The Greece’s capital is also often chosen congress destination for international meetings for its convenient location within the South-East Europe, rich cultural attractions and excellent venue facilities.