Athens is one of the oldest cities in the world, having been continuously inhabited for at least 5000 years. Situated in southern Europe, Athens became the leading city of Ancient Greece in the first millennium BC, and its cultural achievements during the 5th century BC laid the foundations of western civilization.
During the early Middle Ages the city experienced a decline, then recovered under the later Byzantine Empire and was relatively prosperous during the period of the Crusades (12th and 13th Centuries) benefitting from Italian trade. Following a period of sharp decline under the rule of the Ottoman Empire, Athens re-emerged in the 19th century as the capital of the Independent Greek state.
The name of Athens originates from an earlier Pre-Greek language. Its name is connected to its patron goddess Athena. The site on which Athens stands was first inhabited in the Neolithic period (the “new stone age” ) started 15,200 BC and ended between 4500 and 2000 BC. The site was situated on top of the Acropolis (high city) a defensive position which commands the surrounding plains. The settlement was just 20 km inland from the Saronic Gulf, and in the Centre of the Cephisian Plain, a fertile valley surrounded by rivers.
Situated in southern Europe, Athens became the leading city of Ancient Greece in the first millennium BC, and obtained great cultural achievements during the 5th century BC. One of the most important religious sites in ancient Athens was the Temple of Athena, known today as the Parthenon. The area surrounding the Parthenon in the first millennium BC was 2 km (1 mile) east and 2 km (1 mile) west. This area is the Acropolis.
The Government of Greece was actually Aristocracy until 510 BC and from this date, henceforth it would be a Democracy. During this time many other cultures would bring their influence to this Athens.
THINGS TO DO IN ATHENS:
One website to help you plan your time in Athens is tripadvisor. At this site you will find a variety of interests for every palette: historic sites, museums, landmarks, dining out, nightlife, sacred and religious sites, cultural and theme tours, churches and cathedrals, ancient ruins, etc.
ATHENS TEMPERATURE IN MARCH
PLAKA – POPULAR TOURIST SHOPPING SITE
Plaka is located at the foot of the Acropolis. In Plaka you will find some historic sites spaced among the narrow streets lined with numerous shops selling souvenirs and miniatures of the Acropolis. There are many open-air shops in which you can purchase meals or refreshments while taking in the busy foot traffic at Plaka.
The little shops lining these streets are abound with not only souvenirs and miniatures of the Acropolis, but also you will find some of the trendiest jewelry in town. Near the central square you will find stores that sell leather handmade designer handbags. Original bronze artifacts on found particularly on Aidinis and Nikis St. Hellenic Art and Design on Cherefontos St. Walking down Adrianou Street you will see The Seamstress which is a shop featuring vintage fashion.
The Koutelieris studio on Kekropos street designs impressive wooden furniture with elements retrieved from old houses and attracts many visitors and locals with his inspired work. If you want to purchase all your souvenirs in one place, Plaka comes highly recommended.