7 things you didn’t know about Athens
Athens is a beautiful historical city. Why not know the less known things about it? Jump over to our article to find them out.
Most people know Athens for being one of the world’s oldest cities and the birthplace of democracy. It is linked with personalities like Socrates and Hippocrates, who shaped many aspects of our everyday lives. Maybe you actually know much more than this for the city. But what about the 7 things below? We bet you have never heard about them.
- Athens became the capital of modern Greece in 1834
For almost 400 years Greece was under Ottoman domination. Following the revolution and the Treaty of Constantinople act, which recognized Greece as an independent nation, King Otto decided in 1834 to move the capital of Greece from Nafplio to Athens. The main reason he selected Athens was the great history of the city.
- More than 30% of the Greek population lives in Athens
Greece has a population of about 11 million people, with 3.7 million of them living in the metropolitan area of Athens. Other interesting numbers: 17 million – the number of annual tourists in Greece. 4 million – the number of annual tourists in Athens.
- The highest hill of the city is 227 meters tall
Mount Lycabettus is a limestone hill, covered with trees at its base and hosting a 19th-century chapel, a theater and a restaurant. It is associated with numerous stories, out of which one might offer a clue to its name: it is said that the hill was once a refugee for wolves (“lycos” in Greek). Today it’s one of the most popular points to view the city from the above and to take great pictures.
- The first modern Olympic Games were held in Athens
The year 1896 was chosen to be the year of the Olympic Games revival, with Athens as the host city. The event was a big success with the highest number of international visitors that ever gathered in a city for a sports event. Greece won the most medals overall, 46 and the United States won the most gold medals, 11.
- The world’s only stadium built entirely of marble is in Athens
The Panathenaic Stadium, also known as Kallimarmaro, was built in 330 BC to host the Panathenaic Games. After the rise of Christianity, the stadium was largely abandoned. It was refurbished for the Modern Olympic Games more than 1500 years later, in 1896. Kallimarmaro has a capacity of 50,000 seats.
- The theater of Dionysus was a premiere
The Theatre of Dionysus, located at the foot of Acropolis, was the first stone theater ever built. This happened in the 4th century BC. Yet the theater was constructed even earlier, in the 5th century BC, however out of wood. The famous plays of Sophocles, Euripides, Aeschylos and Aristophanes were first performed there. The theater was able to host more than 17,000 spectators.
- There are 179 days of completely unclouded sky in Athens
Average annual temperature in Athens is 18°C with the sun shining without any disturb by clouds for 179 days a year. Athenians don’t miss the chance to enjoy the great weather, walking around or visiting the Athens riviera, being only 15 minutes drive from the city centre and offering beautiful beaches, cafes, open air cinemas and more.