Athens is the capital city of Greece. It comprises the major Attica region (administrative region) of Greece. It is also the country’s largest city but what’s more appealing about it is its history, which spans over 3,400 years and makes it among one of the oldest cities of the world. Athens is famous in the world as a cradle of Western Civilization and it is also the region where democracy is said to have taken place for the very first time in the history of the world. This city is also home to some of the greatest philosophers of the world like Plato and Aristotle.
It is one of the largest centers for economic activity in southeastern Europe which is why it is called global city. Ermou Street in Athens is the most remarkable shopping street for tourists all around the world. It is nearly one kilometer in length and links Monastiraki to Syntagma Square. It houses one of the world’s most expensive international brands. Now let’s discover more about this historic city in Athens facts for kids!
Location: Central Greece
Status: Capital of Greece
Year of becoming capital: 1834
Highest Point: 338 metres (1,109 feet)
Ancient Athens History | Fascinating Athens Facts for Kids
- The word Athens is possibly not of Greek origin. It may have come from languages that were spoken before the written accounts were kept i.e. ancient Greece.
- The oldest site of human presence in this city is called Cave of Schist. Humans arrived here in around 11th to 7th centuries BC.
- This city has been occupied by humans for more than 7,000 years.
- The Acropolis of Athens is an ancient citadel of this city and it contains ruins of some of the most important buildings of ancient Greece. Out of these, Parthenon is the principal architecture of classical Greece staying alive even today.
- Hellenic Parliament was the first architecture for the public that was constructed 1836 to 1843.
- With a height of 103 metres (338 feet), Athens Tower 1 is by far the country’s tallest building. It is situated in Ampelokipi district and forms part of two towers collectively known as Athens Towers. The height of Athens Tower 2 is 65 metres (213 feet).
- At the heart of Athens lay remains of a huge temple called Temple of Olympian Zeus. It was started in 6th century BC and completed after about 638 years. During the time of Roman Empire, this temple was popular as the country’s largest temple. What’s more, it also contained among one of the world’s largest cult sculptures at the time.
- The largest and most important square of the capital city is called Syntagma Square. It’s a Greek word which means ‘Constitution Square’ because King Otto (the first king of modern Greece) granted first constitution here in 1844. At first, the name of this square was ‘Palace Square’.
- Built in 1843, the Old Royal Palace is the first one to be constructed in Greece. Hellenic Parliament is situated inside it.
Interesting Facts about Athens
- Ermou Street in Athens is ranked among the top 5 Europe’s most expensive streets for consumers. It ranks at the world’s 10th position among the most expensive shopping streets.
- The city contains 148 stages of theater which ranks it at the top of the list of cities having maximum number of such theaters worldwide. The Planetarium theatre is among one of the world’s largest theaters and it is also well-equipped.
- Located at the northwest of Acropolis, Ancient Agora of Athens is an ancient site that contains the first ever restaurant of Greece. It was excavated by American archaeologists during 1970s.
- As for passengers, Piraeus port in Athens is the Europe’s largest port. It ranks at the second position among the largest ports of the world.
- It ranks at the 5th position among the most populated capital cities of European Union.
- According to purchasing power, Athens is ranked at the 29th position among the richest cities of the world.
- It ranks at the 67th position among the most expensive cities of the world.
- Covering an area of 20 hectares, Attica Zoological Park is the largest zoo of this city. It houses 2000 different animals representing 400 species. It is open to the public all year long.
- Built in 1829, one of the world’s greatest museums is National Archaeological Museum. Located in Exarcheia neighborhood of Athens, it is by far the largest museum of artifacts in Greece. These artifacts date back to prehistoric Greece to late antiquity and are regarded as the richest collection in the world.
More Facts about Athens
- Established in 1914, the Byzantine and Christian Museum is one of the world’s most important museums as far as artistic things of Byzantine Empire is concerned. It contains at least 25,000 rare artifacts that include painting, statues, manuscripts and pottery representing an era between 3rd century AD and late medieval era.
- About 416 buses run on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) in Athens, which makes this city as home to the largest fleet of such buses in Europe.
- Plato established the Academy in Athens in about ca. 387 BC. Aristotle studied in this academy for about 20 years (until age of 37). According to historians, the Plato’s Academy is widely regarded as the first institute of higher education in the western world.
- The Numismatic Museum of this city contains one of the world’s greatest collections of coins.
- Psyrri is a neighborhood in Athens that is widely known for hotels, bars and restaurants. Lord Byron, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest poets of English, stayed here and wrote a poem named ‘Maid of Athens’. A Greek novelist named Papadiamantis also lived here for about 20 years.