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
Aegina is one of the Saronic Islands of Greece in the Saronic Gulf,27 kilometres from Athens. Tradition derives the name from Aegina the mother of the hero Aeacus, during ancient times Aegina was a rival of Athens, the great sea power of the era. The municipality of Aegina consists of the island of Aegina and a few offshore islets and it is part of the Islands regional unit, Attica region. The municipality is subdivided into the five communities, Aegina Kypseli Mesagros Perdika Vathy The capital is the town of Aegina. Due to its proximity to Athens, it is a vacation place during the summer months. The province of Aegina was one of the provinces of the Piraeus Prefecture and its territory corresponded with that of the current municipalities Aegina and Agkistri. Aegina is roughly triangular in shape, approximately 15 km from east to west and 10 km from north to south, with an area of 87.41 km2, an extinct volcano constitutes two thirds of Aegina. Economically, the fisheries are of notable importance.
The southern volcanic part of the island is rugged and mountainous and its highest rise is the conical Mount Oros in the south, and the Panhellenian ridge stretches northward with narrow fertile valleys on either side. The beaches are a popular tourist attraction, hydrofoil ferries from Piraeus take only forty minutes to reach Aegina, the regular ferry takes about an hour, with ticket prices for adults within the 4–15 euro range. There are regular bus services from Aegina town to destinations throughout the island such as Agia Marina, portes is a fishing village on the east coast. Aegina, according to Herodotus, was a colony of Epidaurus and its placement between Attica and the Peloponnesus made it a site of trade even earlier, and its earliest inhabitants allegedly came from Asia Minor. Minoan ceramics have been found in contexts of ca.2000 BC, the famous Aegina Treasure, now in the British Museum is estimated to date between 1700 and 1500 BC. It is probable that the island was not doricised before the 9th century BC. e. not than the half of the 7th century BC.
Its early history reveals that the importance of the island dates back to pre-Dorian times. It is usually stated on the authority of Ephorus, that Pheidon of Argos established a mint in Aegina, the first city-state to issue coins in Europe, one stamped stater can be seen in the Bibliothèque Nationale of Paris. It is an electrum stater of a turtle, a sacred to Aphrodite. The fact that the Aeginetic standard of weights and measures was one of the two standards in use in the Greek world is sufficient evidence of the early commercial importance of the island
The Kallikratis Programme is the common name of Greek law 3852/2010, a major administrative reform in Greece. It brought upon the major reform of the countrys administrative divisions after the 1997 Kapodistrias reform. Named after ancient Greek architect Callicrates, the programme was presented by the socialist Papandreou cabinet and was adopted by the Hellenic Parliament in May 2010, the programmes implementation started with the November 2010 local elections and was completed by January 2011. With a median of just 4,661.5 inhabitants and this included 88 communities with a population of less than 1000, down to Gramos with just 28 inhabitants. Though strengthened by the 1990s reforms, the prefectural second-tier level however did not meet expectations, largely subverted by an uncoordinated but convergent anti-reform opposition, the reformed prefectures lost a number of important competences following court decisions. The numerous controversies largely undermined public trust in the prefectural level, in a late implementation of a provision that was already part of the Kapodistrias plan, the 147 provinces as subunits of the 51 prefectures, were however abolished in 2007.
The thirteen regions were planned to be combined to just six major programmatic supra-regions that were expected to more successfully compete for European structural funding, putting administrative efficiency first, the top-down reform plan was criticized as subordinating questions of legitimacy and participation. Rather than being opposed by the opposition, the plan faced obstruction by the more conservative camp within the governing party. Following the landslide victory of the socialist PASOK in the early 2009 legislative election, the Kallikratis plan was presented to the public in January 2010, inmidst the beginnings of the Greek financial crisis. While in terms of figures rather similar to the failed New Democracy plans, it wasnt confined to reducing the number of administrative entities. At the same time, the programme aimed at reducing local government employees by 50%, amalgamation of communities led to a number of pre-2007 provinces being reinstated as municipalities. Altogether, Greek municipalities now reached a size of 31.000 inhabitants.
To improve public transparency, local authorities are now obliged to make public all their decisions via the internet. Furthermore, a Local Ombudsman was established to both citizens and enterprises in coping with local administrations. New Financial Committees and Executive Committees were established to help professionalize financial accounting, in communities with more than 10.000 residents, a Committee for the quality of life and a Consultation Committee is established. Aimed at improving local allocation of resources, the Consultation Committee consists of representatives of local stakeholders such as businesses, trade unions, chambers. At the same time the programme abolished the 51 self-governing prefectures, the former prefectures competences were transferred to the 13 NUTS 2-level administrative regions. Originally introduced in 1987, the regions had been strengthened in 1993 as intermediate administrative units for regional planning, under the Kallikratis Programme, these regions became self-governing, separate entities with a regional council and a regional governor, both popularly elected
Lesbos, sometimes referred to as Mytilini after its capital, is a Greek island located in the northeastern Aegean Sea. It has an area of 1,632.819 square kilometres with 320 kilometres of coastline and it is separated from Turkey by the narrow Mytilini Strait and in late Palaeolithic/Mesolithic times was joined to the Anatolian mainland before the end of the last glacial period. Lesbos is a regional unit of the North Aegean region. The others are Chios, Ikaria and Samos, the total number of islands governed by the North Aegean are nine, Chios, Oinousses, Fournoi Korseon, Agios Efstratios and Samos. The capital of the North Aegean Region is Mytilene, the population of Lesbos is approximately 86,000, a third of whom live in its capital, Mytilene, in the southeastern part of the island. The remaining population is distributed in small towns and villages, the largest are Plomari, the Gera Villages, Agiassos and Molyvos. In fact the archaeological and linguistic record may indicate a late Iron Age arrival of Greek settlers although references in Late Bronze Age Hittite archives indicate a likely Greek presence then, the name Mytilene itself seems to be of Hittite origin.
According to Homers Iliad, Lesbos was part of the kingdom of Priam in what is now Turkey, much work remains to be done to determine just what was happening and when. In the Middle Ages, it was under Byzantine and Genoese rule, Lesbos was conquered by the Ottoman Empire in 1462. The Ottomans ruled the island until the First Balkan War in 1912, according to Classical Greek mythology, Lesbos was the patron god of the island. Macar was reputedly the first king whose many daughters bequeathed their names to some of the present larger towns, in Classical myth his sister, was killed to have him made king. The place names with female origins are likely to be much earlier settlements named after local goddesses, homer refers to the island as Macaros edos, the seat of Macar. The abundant grey pottery ware found on the island and the worship of Cybele, the island was governed by an oligarchy in archaic times, followed by quasi-democracy in classical times. For a short period it was a member of the Athenian confederacy, its apostasy from which is recounted by Thucydides in the Mytilenian Debate, in Hellenistic times, the island belonged to various Successor kingdoms until 79 BC when it passed into Roman hands.
During the Middle Ages it belonged to the Byzantine Empire, in 802, the Byzantine Empress Irene was exiled to Lesbos after her deposition, and died there. The island served as a base for the fleet of the rebel Thomas the Slav in the early 820s. In the 10th century, it was part of the theme of the Aegean Sea, in the 1090s, the island was briefly occupied by the Turkish emir Tzachas, but he was unable to capture Methymna, which resisted throughout. In the 12th century, the became a frequent target for plundering raids by the Republic of Venice
Attica is an administrative region that encompasses the entire metropolitan area of Athens, the capital of Greece. The region is coextensive with the former Attica Prefecture of Central Greece, located on the eastern edge of Central Greece, Attica covers about 3,808 square kilometers. About 3,750,000 people live in the region, the Attica region was established in the 1987 administrative reform, and until 2010 comprised the 4 prefectures of Athens, East Attica and West Attica. With the 2010 Kallikratis plan, the powers and authority were completely redefined and extended. Since 1 January 2011, the region represents the local administration. While being supervised by the Decentralized Administration of Attica, it is now an independent self-governing body with powers, the region is subdivided into eight subordinate regional units, The regions governor is Rena Dourou, who on 1 September 2014 succeeded Giannis Sgouros following the 2014 local elections. The Attica region consists of five districts, Athens A, Athens B, Piraeus A, Piraeus B.
Athens Mass Transit System Athens Metro Athens Tram Proastiakos Transit System Official website
Chios (regional unit)
Chios is one of the regional units of Greece. It is part of the region of North Aegean, the capital of the regional unit is the town of Chios. The regional unit consists of the islands of Chios, Psara and some smaller uninhabited islands, the regional unit Chios is subdivided into 3 municipalities. These are, Chios Oinousses Psara As a part of the 2011 Kallikratis government reform, the prefecture had the same territory as the present regional unit. At the same time, the municipalities were reorganised, according to the table below, list of settlements in the Chios regional unit Official Chios website, operated by Chios Prefecture
Hydra is one of the Saronic Islands of Greece, located in the Aegean Sea between the Saronic Gulf and the Argolic Gulf. It is separated from the Peloponnese by a strip of water. In ancient times, the island was known as Hydrea, a reference to the springs on the island. The municipality of Hydra consists of the islands Hydra, the province of Hydra was one of the provinces of the Piraeus Prefecture. Its territory corresponded with that of the current municipality, there is one main town, known simply as Hydra port. It consists of a harbor, around which is centered a strand of restaurants, markets. Steep stone streets lead up and outward from the harbor area, most of the local residences, as well as the hostelries on the island, are located on these streets. Other small villages or hamlets on the island include Mandraki, Vlychos, Episkopi, Hydra depends on tourism, and Athenians account for a sizable segment of its visitors. High-speed hydrofoils and catamarans from Piraeus, some 37 nautical miles away, serve Hydra, there is a passenger ferry service providing an alternative to Hydrofoils that runs from Hydra Harbor to Metochi on the Peloponnese coast.
Many Athenians drive to Metochi, leave their car in the car park. Rubbish trucks are the motor vehicles on the island, since by law, cars. Horses and donkeys, and water taxis provide public transportation, the inhabited area, however, is so compact that most people walk everywhere. Hydra benefits from numerous bays and natural harbors, and has a maritime culture. The island is a popular yachting destination and is the home of the Kamini Yacht Club, in 2007, a National Geographic Traveler panel of 522 experts rated Hydra the highest of any Greek island as a unique destination preserving its integrity of place. The Tsamadou mansion on the side of the harbor as one enters is now a Maritime Academy. The Tombazi mansion is now part of the School of Fine Arts, the mansions of Lazarus and George Kountouriotis, Kriezi, Voulgari and Miaouli all contain collections of 18th-century island furniture. The descendants of Lazarus Kountouriotis donated his mansion to the Historic-Ethnologic Institute of Greece, today, it operates as an extension branch of the National Museum of History.
There are numerous churches and six Orthodox monasteries on the island, two particularly noteworthy monasteries are Profitis Ilias, founded in the 10th century, and Ayia Efpraxia
Kythira is an island in Greece lying opposite the south-eastern tip of the Peloponnese peninsula. It is traditionally listed as one of the seven main Ionian Islands, administratively, it belongs to the Islands regional unit, which is part of the Attica region. The island is located between the Greek mainland and Crete, and from ancient times until the mid 19th century was a crossroads of merchants, sailors. As such, it has had a long and varied history and has influenced by many civilisations. This is reflected in its architecture, as well as the traditions and customs, influenced by centuries of coexistence of the Greek and Ottoman cultures. Kythira and the island of Antikythira were separate municipalities until they were merged at the 2011 local government reform. The municipality has an area of 300.023 km2, the municipal unit 279.593 km2, the province of Kythira was one of the provinces of the Piraeus Prefecture. It had the territory as the present municipality Kythira. There are archaeological remains from the Helladic period, contemporary with the Minoans, there is archaeological evidence of Kythiran trade as far as Egypt and Mesopotamia.
Kythira had a Phoenician colony in the archaic age, the sea-snail which produces Tyrian purple is native to the island. Xenophon refers to a Phoenician Bay in Kythira, the archaic Greek city of Kythira was at Scandea on Avlemonas, its ruins have been excavated. Its acropolis, now Palicastro, has the temple of Aphrodite Ourania, in classical times, Kythira was part of the territory of several larger city-states. Kythira was independent, and issued her own coins, in 195, in Augustus time, it was again subject to Sparta, being the property of Gaius Julius Eurycles, who was both a Spartan magnate and a Roman citizen. By this time, the Greek cities were in practice subject to the Roman Empire, Kythira continued to exist under the Roman Empire and its Byzantine successor state for centuries. Christianity is attested from the fourth century AD, the time of Constantine, according to her legend, archaeological evidence suggests the island was abandoned about 700 AD. When Saint Theodore of Cythera led a resettlement after the Byzantine reconquest of Crete in 962 and he established a great monastery at Paliochora, a town grew up around it, largely populated from Laconia.
When the Byzantine Empire was divided among the conquerors of the Fourth Crusade, during the Venetian domination the island was known as Cerigo. Ottomans called this island Chuha Island, kythirans still talk about the destruction and looting of Paliochora by Barbarossa, it has become an intrinsic part of the Kytherian folklore
Troizinia-Methana is a municipality in the Islands regional unit, Greece. The seat of the municipality is the town Galatas, the municipality was formed at the 2011 local government reform by the merger of the two former municipalities Methana and Troizina, that became municipal units. Initially named Troizinia, in January 2014 the municipality was renamed Troizinia-Methana, the municipality has an area of 240.858 km2. The province of Troizinia was one of the provinces of the Piraeus Prefecture and its territory corresponded with that of the current municipalities Troizinia and Poros
Administrative regions of Greece
The administrative regions of Greece are the countrys thirteen first-level administrative entities, each comprising several second-level units, originally prefectures and, since 2011, regional units. The current regions were established in July 1986, by decision of then-Interior Minister Menios Koutsogiorgas as a second-level administrative entities, as part of a decentralization process inspired by then-Interior Minister Alekos Papadopoulos, they were accorded more powers in the 1997 Kapodistrias reform of local and regional government. They were transformed into separate entities by the 2010 Kallikratis Plan. In the 2011 changes, the general secretary was replaced with a popularly elected regional governor. Many powers of the prefectures, which were abolished or reformed into regional units, were transferred to the region level. The regional organs of the government were in turn replaced by seven decentralized administrations. Bordering the region of Central Macedonia there is one region, Mount Athos.
It is located on the easternmost of the three large peninsulas jutting into the Aegean from the Chalcidice Peninsula, ISO 3166-2, GR Administrative divisions of Greece
Icaria, spelled Ikaria, is a Greek island in the Aegean Sea,10 nautical miles southwest of Samos. According to tradition, it derives its name from Icarus, the son of Daedalus in Greek mythology, Icarian forms a separate municipality within the Ikaria regional unit, which is part of the North Aegean region. The principal town of the island and seat of the municipality is Agios Kirykos, the historic capitals of the island include Oenoe and Evdilos. It is one of the islands of the northern Aegean,255.303 square kilometres in area with 102 miles of coastline. The topography is a contrast between verdant slopes and barren steep rocks, the island is mountainous for the most part. It is traversed by Aetheras range, whose highest summit is 1,037 metres, most of its villages are nestled in the plains near the coast, with only some of them on the mountains. Icaria has a tradition of producing strong red wine, many parts of the island, especially the ravines, are covered in large bushes, making the landscape lush with green.
Aside from domestic and domesticated species such as goats, there are a number of wild animals to be found, such as martens, jumping spiders. Icaria exhibits a typical Mediterranean climate, Icaria has been inhabited since at least 7000 BC, when it was populated by the Neolithic pre-Hellenic race of Pelasgians. Around 750 BC, Greeks from Miletus colonized Icaria, establishing a settlement in the area of present-day Campos, which became the ancient capital city of Oenoe. Icaria, in the 6th century BC, became part of Polycrates sea empire, and, in the 5th century BC, in the 2nd century, the island was colonized by Samos. At this time, the Tauropolion, the temple of Artemis was built at Oenoe, coins of the city represented Artemis and a bull. There was another, smaller temenos that was sacred to Artemis Tauropolos, at Nas, Nas had been a sacred spot to the pre-Greek inhabitants of the Aegean and an important island port in antiquity, the last stop before testing the dangerous seas around Icaria.
It was a place for sailors to make sacrifices to Artemis Tauropolos, among other functions, was a patron of seafarers, here. The temple stood in good repair until the middle of the 19th century when the marble was pillaged, for their local church, in 1939, it was excavated by the Greek archeologist Leon Politis. During the Axis occupation of Greece during World War II, many of the artifacts that were unearthed by Politis disappeared, local custom states that there are still marble statues embedded in the sand off the coast. The Knights of St. John, who had their base in Rhodes, exerted some control over Icaria until 1521, the inshore waters, Georgirenes asserted, provided the best cockles in the Archipelago. Goats and sheep roamed virtually untended in the rocky landscape, cheeses were made for consumption in each household