Greece, officially the Hellenic Republic, historically known as Hellas, is a country in southeastern Europe, with a population of approximately 11 million as of 2015. Athens is the capital and largest city, followed by Thessaloniki. Greece is strategically located at the crossroads of Europe, situated on the southern tip of the Balkan peninsula, it shares land borders with Albania to the northwest, the Republic of Macedonia and Bulgaria to the north, and Turkey to the northeast. Greece consists of nine regions, Central Greece, the Peloponnese, Epirus, the Aegean Islands, Crete. The Aegean Sea lies to the east of the mainland, the Ionian Sea to the west, the Cretan Sea and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. Greece has the longest coastline on the Mediterranean Basin and the 11th longest coastline in the world at 13,676 km in length, featuring a vast number of islands, eighty percent of Greece is mountainous, with Mount Olympus being the highest peak at 2,918 metres. From the eighth century BC, the Greeks were organised into various independent city-states, known as polis, which spanned the entire Mediterranean region and the Black Sea.
Greece was annexed by Rome in the second century BC, becoming a part of the Roman Empire and its successor. The Greek Orthodox Church shaped modern Greek identity and transmitted Greek traditions to the wider Orthodox World, falling under Ottoman dominion in the mid-15th century, the modern nation state of Greece emerged in 1830 following a war of independence. Greeces rich historical legacy is reflected by its 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, among the most in Europe, Greece is a democratic and developed country with an advanced high-income economy, a high quality of life, and a very high standard of living. A founding member of the United Nations, Greece was the member to join the European Communities and has been part of the Eurozone since 2001. Greeces unique cultural heritage, large industry, prominent shipping sector. It is the largest economy in the Balkans, where it is an important regional investor, the names for the nation of Greece and the Greek people differ from the names used in other languages and cultures.
The earliest evidence of the presence of human ancestors in the southern Balkans, dated to 270,000 BC, is to be found in the Petralona cave, all three stages of the stone age are represented in Greece, for example in the Franchthi Cave. Neolithic settlements in Greece, dating from the 7th millennium BC, are the oldest in Europe by several centuries and these civilizations possessed writing, the Minoans writing in an undeciphered script known as Linear A, and the Mycenaeans in Linear B, an early form of Greek. The Mycenaeans gradually absorbed the Minoans, but collapsed violently around 1200 BC and this ushered in a period known as the Greek Dark Ages, from which written records are absent. The end of the Dark Ages is traditionally dated to 776 BC, the Iliad and the Odyssey, the foundational texts of Western literature, are believed to have been composed by Homer in the 7th or 8th centuries BC. With the end of the Dark Ages, there emerged various kingdoms and city-states across the Greek peninsula, in 508 BC, Cleisthenes instituted the worlds first democratic system of government in Athens
The Bibliotheca Alexandrina is a major library and cultural center located on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea in the Egyptian city of Alexandria. It is both a commemoration of the Library of Alexandria that was lost in antiquity, and an attempt to rekindle something of the brilliance that this center of study. The notion of recreating the ancient library was adopted by other individuals, an architectural design competition was organized by UNESCO in 1988 to choose a design worthy of the site and its heritage. The competition was won by Snøhetta, a Norwegian architectural office, the first pledges were made for funding the project at a conference held in 1990 in Aswan, USD $65 million, mostly from the Arab states. Construction work began in 1995 and, after some USD $220 million had been spent, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina is trilingual, containing books in Arabic and French. In 2010, the received a donation of 500,000 books from the National Library of France. The gift makes the Bibliotheca Alexandrina the sixth-largest Francophone library in the world, the BA is now the largest depository of French books in the Arab world, surpassing those of Tunisia and Morocco, in addition to being the main French library in Africa.
The dimensions of the project are vast, the library has space for eight million books. The librarys architecture is equally striking, the main reading room stands beneath a 32-meter-high glass-panelled roof, tilted out toward the sea like a sundial, and measuring some 160 m in diameter. The walls are of gray Aswan granite, carved with characters from 120 different human scripts, the collections at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina were donated from all over the world. The Spanish donated documents that detailed their period of Moorish rule, the French donated, giving the library documents dealing with the building of the Suez Canal. The BA/IA partnership is built with the aims to preserve heritage for future generations, the BA maintains the only mirror and external backup of the Internet Archive. The Taha Hussein Library contains materials for the blind and visually impaired using special software that makes it possible for readers to read books and journals. It is named after Taha Hussein, the Egyptian professor of Arabic and literary critic and one of the figures of the Arab Renaissance in literature.
Contains book collections of Nobel Prize Laureates in Literature from 1901 to present, the Nobel Section was inaugurated by Queen Silvia of Sweden and Queen Sonja of Norway on 24 April 2002. Nobel Section Established in 2001, the BA Antiquities Museum is the first archeological museum to be situated within a library, the primary aims of the museum are to promote research and cultural awareness. The collection includes underwater antiquities from the Mediterranean seabed near the Eastern Harbour, the museum provides descriptions of artifacts in three languages, English and French. The Manuscript Museum provides visitors and researchers with rare manuscripts and books, Established in 2001, the Manuscript Museum contains the worlds largest collection of digital manuscripts
The Areopagus is a prominent rock outcropping located northwest of the Acropolis in Athens, Greece. Its English name is the form of the Greek name Areios Pagos. In classical times, it functioned as the court for trying deliberate homicide, Ares was supposed to have been tried here by the gods for the murder of Poseidons son Halirrhothius. The origin of its name is not clear, in Ancient Greek, πάγος pagos means big piece of rock. Later, the Romans referred to the hill as Mars Hill, after Mars. Near the Areopagus was constructed the basilica of Dionysius Areopagites, in pre-classical times, the Areopagus was the council of elders of the city, similar to the Roman Senate. Like the Senate, its membership was restricted to those who had high public office. In 594 BC, the Areopagus agreed to hand over its functions to Solon for reform and he instituted democratic reforms, reconstituted its membership and returned control to the organization. In 462 BC, Ephialtes put through reforms which deprived the Areopagus of almost all its functions except that of a tribunal in favour of Heliaia.
In The Eumenides of Aeschylus, the Areopagus is the site of the trial of Orestes for killing his mother and her lover, the hetaera from 4th century BC Greece and famed for her beauty, appeared before the Areopagus accused of profaning the Eleusinian mysteries. One story has her letting her cloak drop, so impressing the judges with her almost divine form that she was summarily acquitted, in an unusual development, the Areopagus acquired a new function in the 4th century BC, investigating corruption, although conviction powers remained with the Ecclesia. The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth, the term Areopagus refers to the judicial body of aristocratic origin that subsequently formed the higher court of modern Greece. Areopagus sermon Areopagus of Eastern Continental Greece, a regional Greek administration during the Greek Revolution of 1821, the Constitutional Antiquities of Sparta and Athens by Gustav Gilbert Pantologia by John Mason Good, Olinthus Gregory, Newton Bosworth.
P.565 The London Encyclopaedia, Volume 2, P.647 Acts 17, 16-34 – A Biblical account of St. Paul discussing with the Areopagus the nature of the Christian God. Also referred to is the story concerning the altar to The Unknown God
Simon von Sina or Simon Sinas was an Austrian banker, aristocrat and diplomat of Greek origin. Simon Sinas was born on August 15,1810 in Vienna and he was of Greek origin with his family originating from Moscopole. He served as Greek consul in Vienna, and as minister to Austria, the Kingdom of Bavaria, the son of Georgios Sinas, a benefactor and diplomat, Sinas expanded his fathers business. He made donations to various educational and scientific foundations in Austria, Hungary. During his time as Greek Ambassador in Vienna, he hosted the Greek Ball in the Palais Sina for which Johann Strauss II composed the Hellenen-Polka op, Sinas became director of the National Bank of Austria and established the Simon Georg Sina banking house in Vienna. Following the end of the Second Schleswig War in 1864, he funded the return transport of Austrian forces from the region of Schleswig-Holstein, from 1874 onwards, Sinas held a position in the Herrenhaus of Austria. Sinas was the donator and founder of the Hungarian Academy of Budapest, the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, the Athens Orthodox Cathedral, the Athens Academy and his father had made the foundation of the National Observatory of Athens possible.
Since Sinas was a patron of astronomers, the crater Sinas on the Moon was named after him, Sinas died in Vienna on April 15,1876
Odeon of Herodes Atticus
The Odeon of Herodes Atticus is a stone theatre structure located on the southwest slope of the Acropolis of Athens, Greece. The building was completed in 161 AD and renovated in 1950 and it was built in 161 AD by the Athenian magnate Herodes Atticus in memory of his wife, Aspasia Annia Regilla. It was originally a theater with a three-story stone front wall. It was used as a venue for concerts with a capacity of 5,000. It lasted intact until it was destroyed and left in ruins by the Heruli in 267 AD, the audience stands and the orchestra were restored using pentelic marble in the 1950s. Since it has been the venue of the Athens Festival. In 1957 Maria Callas performed at the Odeon as part of the Athens Festival, in May 1962 Frank Sinatra gave two Benefit concerts for the city of Athens. The Odeon of Herodes Atticus was the venue for the Miss Universe 1973 pageant, another memorable performance at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus was given by the Greek singer Nana Mouskouri in 1984, after 20 years of absence she returned to her country.
Luciano Pavarotti performed at the Odeon twice, in 1991 and in 2004, vangelis Mythodea premiered at Odeon of Herodes Atticus in July 1993 and the venue hosted Yannis Live at the Acropolis performance in September 1993. Sting performed at the venue during his Mercury Falling Tour on May 17,1996, Mario Frangoulis has performed at the historic theatre with Yannis Markopoulos Orpheus in 1996 and played the role of Erotokritos in his work based on Vitsentzos Kornaros Erotokritos. He performed Axion Esti poem by Odysseus Elytis music by Mikis Theodorakis, elton John performed two concerts at the venue during his Medusa Tour in 2000. In June 2008 Sylvie Guillem performed Boléro in company with the Tokyo Ballet as part of the Athens Festival, in September 2010, tenor Andrea Bocelli held a concert at the Odeon to raise funds for Cancer research. In the Year 2012 Mario Frangoulis performed the role in Carl Orffs Carmina Burana at the Herodes Atticus theater. List of concert halls List of contemporary amphitheaters The southern slope of the Acropolis and the theatre itself, Hellenic Ministry of Culture
Byzantine and Christian Museum
The Byzantine and Christian Museum is situated at Vassilissis Sofias Avenue in Athens, Greece. It is one of the most important museums in the world in Byzantine Art, in June 2004, in time for its 90th anniversary and the 2004 Athens Olympics, the museum reopened to the public after an extensive renovation and the addition of another wing. The gallery is situated on Vassilissis Sofias Avenue 22, down the street from the Hilton Athens and it can be reached with the Athens Metro at the Evangelismos station. Byzantine Art List of museums in Greece Official website Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Tourism
Arch of Hadrian (Athens)
The Arch of Hadrian, most commonly known in Greek as Hadrians Gate, is a monumental gateway resembling – in some respects – a Roman triumphal arch. It spanned an ancient road from the center of Athens, Greece and it is not certain who commissioned the arch, although it is probable that the citizens of Athens or another Greek group were responsible for its construction and design. There were two inscriptions on the arch, facing in opposite directions, naming both Theseus and Hadrian as founders of Athens. While it is clear that the inscriptions honor Hadrian, it is whether they refer to the city as a whole or to the city in two parts, one old and one new. The arch is located 325m southeast of the Acropolis, the entire monument is made of Pentelic marble, from Mt. Pentelikon,18.2 km northeast of the arch. Pentelic marble was used for the Parthenon and many notable structures in Athens. The marble used for the arch is of a grade that had more inclusions than that used in the best Athenian buildings.
The arch was constructed without cement or mortar from solid marble and it is 18m high,13. 5m wide, and 2. 3m in depth. Its design is symmetrical from front to back and side to side. The single arched passageway of the level is 6. 5m wide and was supported by pilasters crowned with Corinthian capitals. Similar, but taller, pilasters flank the outer corners of the lower level, the space between the outer pilasters and the arched opening was filled in with squared stones with drafted edges to emphasize the design. On either side of the passageway was a Corinthian column on a rectangular. The lower level was crowned with an Ionic architrave capped with dentils, the upper level of the arch was composed of a series of Corinthian columns and pilasters dividing the space into three rectangular openings. Each of the openings was crowned with an Ionic architrave capped with dentils. At the peak of the pediment, there was a small vegetal acroterion, the central opening of the upper level was originally closed off by a thin screen of stone, c.7 cm thick.
Only the slots for its mounting are now preserved, even a casual examination of this arch, with a few of the many preserved Roman triumphal arches in mind, reveals the significant design variation between the two structures. Roman triumphal arches, typically have a massive, solid attic, often filled with a dedicatory inscription, in addition, Roman arches typically supported major stone or bronze statuary, often including a quadriga or similar at top center. As Willers notes, the design of the Arch of Hadrian has a very refined upper level that does not allow the mounting of major decoration on top of the attic
National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
The National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, usually referred to simply as the University of Athens, is a public university in Athens, Greece. Today it is the biggest university in Europe, with more than 104,000 registered students, the University of Athens was founded on May 3,1837 by King Otto of Greece and was named in his honour Othonian University. It was the first university in the liberated Greek state and in the area of the Southeast Europe as well. It was the academic institution after the Ionian Academy. This fledging university consisted of four faculties, Law, during its first year of operation, the institution was staffed by 33 professors, while courses were attended by 52 students and 75 non-matriculated auditors. It was first housed in the residence of architects Stamatios Kleanthis and Eduard Schaubert, on the slope of the Acropolis, in Plaka. In November 1841 the university relocated on the Central Building of the University of Athens and he followed a neoclassical approach, combining the monuments magnificence with a human scale simplicity and gave the building its H-shape.
Construction began in 1839 in a location to the north of the Acropolis and its front wing, known as the Propylaea, was completed in 1842–1843. The rest of the construction, that was supervised at first by Greek architect Lysandros Kaftantzoglou. The building is part of what is called the Athenian Neoclassical Trilogy. The Othonian University was renamed to National University in 1862, following events that forced King Otto to leave the country and it was renamed to National and Kapodistrian University of Athens to honour Ioannis Kapodistrias, the first head of state of the independent modern Greek state. In 1919, a department of chemistry was added, and in 1922 the School of Pharmacy was renamed a Department, a further change came about when the School of Dentistry was added to the faculty of medicine. Between 1895 and 1911, an average of 1,000 new students matriculated each year and this resulted in the decision to introduce entrance examinations for all the faculties, beginning for the academic year 1927–28.
Since 1954 the number of students admitted each year has been fixed by the Ministry of Education and Religion, from 1911 until 1932 the university was separated into the Kapodistrian University and the National University. In 1932, the two legal entities were merged into the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. During the 1960s construction work began on the University Campus in the suburb of Ilissia, in a statement, the University Senate said that any educational and administrative operation of the University of Athens is objectively impossible. The emblem of the University of Athens is the pagan goddess Athena, the University of Athens is divided into schools and departments as follows. The naming is nοt consistent in English for historical reasons, but in Greek the largest divisions are generally named σχολές and are divided in τμήματα, there the faculties of Science and Philosophy are situated
Neoclassical architecture is an architectural style produced by the neoclassical movement that began in the mid-18th century. In its purest form, it is a style derived from the architecture of classical antiquity, the Vitruvian principles. In form, Neoclassical architecture emphasizes the wall rather than chiaroscuro, Neoclassical architecture is still designed today, but may be labelled New Classical Architecture for contemporary buildings. In Central and Eastern Europe, the style is referred to as Classicism. Many early 19th-century neoclassical architects were influenced by the drawings and projects of Étienne-Louis Boullée, the many graphite drawings of Boullée and his students depict spare geometrical architecture that emulates the eternality of the universe. There are links between Boullées ideas and Edmund Burkes conception of the sublime, the baroque style had never truly been to the English taste. The most popular was the four-volume Vitruvius Britannicus by Colen Campbell, the book contained architectural prints of famous British buildings that had been inspired by the great architects from Vitruvius to Palladio.
At first the book featured the work of Inigo Jones. Palladian architecture became well established in 18th-century Britain, at the forefront of the new school of design was the aristocratic architect earl, Richard Boyle, 3rd Earl of Burlington, in 1729, he and William Kent, designed Chiswick House. This House was a reinterpretation of Palladios Villa Capra, but purified of 16th century elements and this severe lack of ornamentation was to be a feature of the Palladianism. In 1734 William Kent and Lord Burlington designed one of Englands finest examples of Palladian architecture with Holkham Hall in Norfolk, the main block of this house followed Palladios dictates quite closely, but Palladios low, often detached, wings of farm buildings were elevated in significance. This classicising vein was detectable, to a degree, in the Late Baroque architecture in Paris. This shift was even visible in Rome at the redesigned façade for S, by the mid 18th century, the movement broadened to incorporate a greater range of Classical influences, including those from Ancient Greece.
The shift to neoclassical architecture is conventionally dated to the 1750s, in France, the movement was propelled by a generation of French art students trained in Rome, and was influenced by the writings of Johann Joachim Winckelmann. The style was adopted by progressive circles in other countries such as Sweden. A second neoclassic wave, more severe, more studied and more consciously archaeological, is associated with the height of the Napoleonic Empire, in France, the first phase of neoclassicism was expressed in the Louis XVI style, and the second in the styles called Directoire or Empire. The Scottish architect Charles Cameron created palatial Italianate interiors for the German-born Catherine II the Great in St. Petersburg, neoclassicism made a discovery of the genuine classic interior, inspired by the rediscoveries at Pompeii and Herculaneum. These had begun in the late 1740s, but only achieved an audience in the 1760s
Leonidas Drosis was a Greek Neoclassical sculptor of the 19th century. Born in Nafplion, he studied in Athens and Munich on a scholarship provided by Simon Sinas. Drosiss major work is the extensive neo-classical architectural ornament at the Academy of Athens, the Academy was funded largely by Sinas. Drosis sculpted the principle multi-figure pediment sculpture, on the theme of the birth of Athena and this brought first prize at the Vienna Exhibition of 1873. Media related to Leonidas Drosis at Wikimedia Commons
2004 Summer Olympics
10,625 athletes competed, some 600 more than expected, accompanied by 5,501 team officials from 201 countries. There were 301 medal events in 28 different sports, Athens 2004 marked the first time since the 1996 Summer Olympics that all countries with a National Olympic Committee were in attendance. 2004 marked the return of the games to the city where they began, a new medal obverse was introduced at these Games, replacing the design by Giuseppe Cassioli that had been used since the 1928 Games. This rectified the long lasting mistake of using a depiction of the Roman Colosseum rather than a Greek venue, the new design features the Panathenaic Stadium. The cost of the 2004 Athens Summer Games has been cited as a contributor to the Greek government-debt crisis, some of the venues lie vacant and rotting, while others are in use, the Independent newspaper reports as many as 21 out of 22 are unused. The final medal tally was led by the United States, followed by China, several World and Olympics records were broken during the games.
Several concerns were raised over the preparations of the Games and these included excessive budget overruns, infrastructural compromise, the games were deemed generally successful with the rising standard of competition amongst nations across the world. Athens was chosen as the host city during the 106th IOC Session held in Lausanne on 5 September 1997, Athens had lost its bid to organize the 1996 Summer Olympics to Atlanta nearly seven years before on 18 September 1990, during the 96th IOC Session in Tokyo. 1996 coincided with the 100th Anniversary of the first modern Olympics, under the direction of Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki, Athens pursued another bid, this time for the right to host the Summer Olympics in 2004. After leading all voting rounds, Athens easily defeated Rome in the 5th, cape Town and Buenos Aires, the three other cities that made the IOC shortlist, were eliminated in prior rounds of voting. Six other cities submitted applications, but their bids were dropped by the IOC in 1996 and these cities were Istanbul, Rio de Janeiro, San Juan, Saint Petersburg and Cali.
The 2004 Summer Olympic Games cost the Government of Greece €8.954 billion to stage, the Athens 2004 Organizing Committee, responsible for the preparation and organisation of the games, concluded its operations as a company in 2005 with a surplus of €130.6 million. ATHOC contributed €123.6 million of the surplus to the Greek State to cover other related expenditures of the Greek State in organizing of the games, as a result, ATHOC reported in its official published accounts a net profit of €7 million. The State’s contribution to the total ATHOC budget was 8% of its expenditure against an originally anticipated 14%, the overall revenue of ATHOC, including income from tickets, broadcasting rights, merchandise sales etc. totalled €2,098.4 million. The largest percentage of income came from broadcasting rights. The overall expenditure of ATHOC was €1,967.8 million. e, the large projects required for the upgrade of the country’s infrastructure, including sports infrastructure, airports, power grid etc.
This cost, however, is not directly attributable to the organisation of the Games. Such infrastructure projects are considered by all standards as fixed asset investments that stay with the hosting country for decades after the Games
Athens is the capital and largest city of Greece. In modern times, Athens is a cosmopolitan metropolis and central to economic, industrial, maritime. In 2015, Athens was ranked the worlds 29th richest city by purchasing power, Athens is recognised as a global city because of its location and its importance in shipping, commerce, entertainment, international trade, culture and tourism. It is one of the biggest economic centres in southeastern Europe, with a financial sector. The municipality of Athens had a population of 664,046 within its limits. The urban area of Athens extends beyond its administrative city limits. According to Eurostat in 2011, the Functional urban areas of Athens was the 9th most populous FUA in the European Union, Athens is the southernmost capital on the European mainland. The city retains Roman and Byzantine monuments, as well as a number of Ottoman monuments. Athens is home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Acropolis of Athens and the medieval Daphni Monastery, Athens was the host city of the first modern-day Olympic Games in 1896, and 108 years it welcomed home the 2004 Summer Olympics.
In Ancient Greek, the name of the city was Ἀθῆναι a plural, in earlier Greek, such as Homeric Greek, the name had been current in the singular form though, as Ἀθήνη. It was possibly rendered in the on, like those of Θῆβαι and Μυκῆναι. During the medieval period the name of the city was rendered once again in the singular as Ἀθήνα, an etiological myth explaining how Athens has acquired its name was well known among ancient Athenians and even became the theme of the sculpture on the West pediment of the Parthenon. The goddess of wisdom and the god of the seas, Poseidon had many disagreements, in an attempt to compel the people, Poseidon created a salt water spring by striking the ground with his trident, symbolizing naval power. However, when Athena created the tree, symbolizing peace and prosperity. Different etymologies, now rejected, were proposed during the 19th century. Christian Lobeck proposed as the root of the name the word ἄθος or ἄνθος meaning flower, ludwig von Döderlein proposed the stem of the verb θάω, stem θη- to denote Athens as having fertile soil.
In classical literature, the city was referred to as the City of the Violet Crown, first documented in Pindars ἰοστέφανοι Ἀθᾶναι. In medieval texts, variant names include Setines and Astines, today the caption η πρωτεύουσα, the capital, has become somewhat common