Ireland is an island in the North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel, the Irish Sea, St George's Channel. Ireland is the second-largest island of the British Isles, the third-largest in Europe, the twentieth-largest on Earth. Politically, Ireland is divided between the Republic of Ireland, which covers five-sixths of the island, Northern Ireland, part of the United Kingdom. In 2011, the population of Ireland was about 6.6 million, ranking it the second-most populous island in Europe after Great Britain. Just under 4.8 million live in the Republic of Ireland and just over 1.8 million live in Northern Ireland. The island's geography comprises low-lying mountains surrounding a central plain, with several navigable rivers extending inland, its lush vegetation is a product of its mild but changeable climate, free of extremes in temperature. Much of Ireland was woodland until the end of the Middle Ages. Today, woodland makes up about 10% of the island, compared with a European average of over 33%, most of it is non-native conifer plantations.
There are twenty-six extant mammal species native to Ireland. The Irish climate is influenced by the Atlantic Ocean and thus moderate, winters are milder than expected for such a northerly area, although summers are cooler than those in continental Europe. Rainfall and cloud cover are abundant; the earliest evidence of human presence in Ireland is dated at 10,500 BC. Gaelic Ireland had emerged by the 1st century AD; the island was Christianised from the 5th century onward. Following the 12th century Norman invasion, England claimed sovereignty. However, English rule did not extend over the whole island until the 16th–17th century Tudor conquest, which led to colonisation by settlers from Britain. In the 1690s, a system of Protestant English rule was designed to materially disadvantage the Catholic majority and Protestant dissenters, was extended during the 18th century. With the Acts of Union in 1801, Ireland became a part of the United Kingdom. A war of independence in the early 20th century was followed by the partition of the island, creating the Irish Free State, which became sovereign over the following decades, Northern Ireland, which remained a part of the United Kingdom.
Northern Ireland saw much civil unrest from the late 1960s until the 1990s. This subsided following a political agreement in 1998. In 1973 the Republic of Ireland joined the European Economic Community while the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland, as part of it, did the same. Irish culture has had a significant influence on other cultures in the field of literature. Alongside mainstream Western culture, a strong indigenous culture exists, as expressed through Gaelic games, Irish music and the Irish language; the island's culture shares many features with that of Great Britain, including the English language, sports such as association football, horse racing, golf. The names Éire derive from Old Irish Eriu; this in turn comes from the Proto-Celtic *Iveriu, the source of Latin Hibernia. Iveriu derives from a root meaning'fat, prosperous'. During the last glacial period, up until about 10,000 BC, most of Ireland was periodically covered in ice. Sea levels were lower and Ireland, like Great Britain, formed part of continental Europe.
By 16,000 BC, rising sea levels due to ice melting caused Ireland to become separated from Great Britain. Around 6000 BC, Great Britain itself became separated from continental Europe; the earliest evidence of human presence in Ireland is dated at 10,500 BC, demonstrated by a butchered bear bone found in a cave in County Clare. It is not until about 8000 BC, that more sustained occupation of the island has been shown, with evidence for Mesolithic communities around the island; these Mesolithic communities lived as hunter-gatherers across the island until about 4000 BC. Some time before 4000 BC, Neolithic settlers arrived introducing cereal cultivars, domesticated animals such as cattle and sheep, large timber building, stone monuments; the earliest evidence for farming in Ireland or Great Britain is from Co.. Kerry, where a flint knife, cattle bones and a sheep's tooth were carbon-dated to c. 4350 BC. Field systems were developed in different parts of Ireland, including at the Céide Fields, preserved beneath a blanket of peat in present-day Tyrawley.
An extensive field system, arguably the oldest in the world, consisted of small divisions separated by dry-stone walls. The fields were farmed for several centuries between 3500 BC and 3000 BC. Wheat and barley were the principal crops; the Bronze Age – defined by the use of metal – began around 2500 BC, with technology changing people's everyday lives during this period through innovations such as the wheel. According to John T. Koch and others, Ireland in the Late Bronze Age was part of a maritime trading-network culture called the Atlantic Bronze Age that included Britain, western France and Iberia, that this is where Celtic languages developed; this contrasts with the traditional view that their origin lies in mainland Europe with the Hallstatt culture. During the Iron Age, a Celtic language and culture emerged in Ireland. How and when the island became Celtic has been debated for close to a century, with the migrations of the Celts being one of the more enduring themes of archaeological and linguistic studies.
The most recent genetic research s
Priniatikos Pyrgos is an archaeological site near Istron River, in the eastern Cretan regional unit of Lasithi. The nearest big town is Crete; the site is on a coastal promontory. It appears to have been first settled in the Final Neolithic, circa 3000 BC. Nearby, there's a small resort town of Lasithi, it is not to be confused with Myrtos Pyrgos on the south coast. Activity on the site continued throughout the Minoan Bronze Age and the Classical Greek and Roman periods to Byzantine and Venetian periods, spanning a total of up to 4,000 years; the site may have been a harbour settlement, an industrial area, a cult area or any combination of such functions, which may have changed throughout its long occupation. Since 2007, Priniatikos Pyrgos has been undergoing excavation by an international team under the auspices of the Irish Institute of Hellenic Studies at Athens. There's another important archaeological site nearby, Lasithi contemporary with Pyrgos. Vasiliki gave its name to a type of early pottery known as Vasiliki ware.
Much Vasiliki ware was excavated at Priniatikos Pyrgos. Edith Hall, of the University of Pennsylvania Museum, pioneered archaeological work in eastern Crete, she excavated the Bronze and Early Iron Age refuge settlement of Vrokastro, above the river Istron valley. After that, in 1912, she started a brief excavation on the coastal promontory of Priniatikos Pyrgos, where she believed a Minoan harbor town was located; this small scale excavation yielded large quantities of fine Minoan pottery of both the Early and Late Minoan periods. She discovered a large Roman settlement in the area. Minoan vases that she excavated at the site have been published, they are now in the Mediterranean collection of the University of Pennsylvania Museum. Mary Hamilton Swindler B. J. Hayden, Y. Bassiakos, T. Kalpaxis, A. Sarris, M. Tsipopoulou, “A New Exploration of Priniatikos Pyrgos: Primary Harbor Settlement and Emporium of the Vrokastro Survey Region,” in P. P. Betancourt, M. C. Nelson, H. Williams, Krinoi kai Limenes: Studies in Honor of Joseph and Maria Shaw 93-100.
Priniatikos Pyrgos homepage Project description on IIHSA website Irish Institute of Hellenic Studies at Athens Hayden, Barbara J.. "The Final Neolithic-Early Minoan I/IIA Settlement History of the Vrokastro Area, Eastern Crete". Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry. MAA. 3: 31–44. Archived from the original on August 12, 2011. Retrieved May 2, 2013
Greece the Hellenic Republic, self-identified and known as Hellas, is a country located in Southern and Southeast Europe, with a population of 11 million as of 2016. Athens is largest city, followed by Thessaloniki. Greece is located at the crossroads of Europe and Africa. Situated on the southern tip of the Balkan Peninsula, it shares land borders with Albania to the northwest, North Macedonia and Bulgaria to the north, Turkey to the northeast; 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 large number of islands, of which 227 are inhabited. Eighty percent of Greece is mountainous, with Mount Olympus being the highest peak at 2,918 metres; the country consists of nine geographic regions: Macedonia, Central Greece, the Peloponnese, Epirus, the Aegean Islands, Thrace and the Ionian Islands.
Greece is considered the cradle of Western civilisation, being the birthplace of democracy, Western philosophy, Western literature, political science, major scientific and mathematical principles, Western drama and notably the Olympic Games. From the eighth century BC, the Greeks were organised into various independent city-states, known as poleis, which spanned the entire Mediterranean region and the Black Sea. Philip of Macedon united most of the Greek mainland in the fourth century BC, with his son Alexander the Great conquering much of the ancient world, from the eastern Mediterranean to India. Greece was annexed by Rome in the second century BC, becoming an integral part of the Roman Empire and its successor, the Byzantine Empire, in which Greek language and culture were dominant. Rooted in the first century A. D. the Greek Orthodox Church helped shape 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.
Greece's rich historical legacy is reflected by its 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The sovereign state of Greece is a unitary parliamentary republic and developed country with an advanced high-income economy, a high quality of life, a high standard of living. A founding member of the United Nations, Greece was the tenth member to join the European Communities and has been part of the Eurozone since 2001, it is a member of numerous other international institutions, including the Council of Europe, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie. Greece's unique cultural heritage, large tourism industry, prominent shipping sector and geostrategic importance classify it as a middle power, it is the largest economy in the Balkans. The names for the nation of Greece and the Greek people differ from the names used in other languages and cultures.
The Greek name of the country is Hellas or Ellada, its official name is the Hellenic Republic. In English, the country is called Greece, which comes from Latin Graecia and means'the land of the Greeks'; 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, in the Greek province of Macedonia. All three stages of the stone age are represented for example in the Franchthi Cave. Neolithic settlements in Greece, dating from the 7th millennium BC, are the oldest in Europe by several centuries, as Greece lies on the route via which farming spread from the Near East to Europe. Greece is home to the first advanced civilizations in Europe and is considered the birthplace of Western civilisation, beginning with the Cycladic civilization on the islands of the Aegean Sea at around 3200 BC, the Minoan civilization in Crete, the Mycenaean civilization on the mainland; these civilizations possessed writing, the Minoans writing in an undeciphered script known as Linear A, the Mycenaeans in Linear B, an early form of Greek.
The Mycenaeans absorbed the Minoans, but collapsed violently around 1200 BC, during a time of regional upheaval known as the Bronze Age collapse. This ushered from which written records are absent. Though the unearthed Linear B texts are too fragmentary for the reconstruction of the political landscape and can't support the existence of a larger state contemporary Hittite and Egyptian records suggest the presence of a single state under a "Great King" based in mainland Greece; the end of the Dark Ages is traditionally dated to the year of the first Olympic Games. 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, which spread to the shores of the Black Sea, So
Cephalonia or Kefalonia also known as Kefallinia or Kephallenia, is the largest of the Ionian Islands in western Greece and the 6th largest island in Greece after Crete, Lesbos and Chios. It is a separate regional unit of the Ionian Islands region, the only municipality of the regional unit, it was a former Latin Catholic diocese Kefalonia–Zakynthos and short-lived titular see as just Kefalonia. The capital of Cephalonia is Argostoli. An aition explaining the name of Cephallenia and reinforcing its cultural connections with Athens associates the island with the mythological figure of Cephalus, who helped Amphitryon of Mycenae in a war against the Taphians and Teleboans, he was rewarded with the island of Same. Cephalonia has been suggested as the Homeric Ithaca, the home of Odysseus, rather than the smaller island bearing this name today. Robert Bittlestone, in his book Odysseus Unbound, has suggested that Paliki, now a peninsula of Cephalonia, was a separate island during the late Bronze Age, it may be this which Homer was referring to when he described Ithaca.
A project which started in the Summer of 2007 and lasted three years has examined this possibility. Cephalonia is referenced in relation to the goddess Britomartis, as the location where she is said to have'received divine honours from the inhabitants under the name of Laphria'. During the Middle Ages, the island was the center of the Byzantine theme of Cephallenia until 1185. After 1185 it became part of the County palatine of Kephalonia and Zakynthos under the Kingdom of Sicily until its last Count Leonardo III Tocco was defeated and the island conquered by the Ottomans in 1479; the Turkish rule lasted only until 1500, when Cephalonia was captured by a Spanish-Venetian army, a rare Venetian success in the Second Ottoman–Venetian War. From on Cephalonia and Ithaca remained part of the Stato da Mar of the Venetian Republic until its end, following the fate of the Ionian islands, completed by the capture of Lefkas from the Turks in 1684; the Treaty of Campoformio dismantling the Venetian Republic awarded the Ionian Islands to France, a French expeditionary force with boats captured in Venice taking control of the islands in June 1797.
Because of the liberal situation on the island, the Venetian governor Marc'Antonio Giustiniani printed Hebrew books and exported them to the whole eastern mediterranean. In 1596 the Venetians built one of Cephalonia's main tourist attractions today. From the 16th to the 18th centuries, the island was one of the largest exporters of currants in the world with Zakynthos, owned a large shipping fleet commissioning ships from the Danzig shipyard, its towns and villages were built high on hilltops, to prevent attacks from raiding parties of pirates that sailed the Ionian Sea during the 1820s. Venice was conquered by France in 1797 and Cephalonia, along with the other Ionian Islands, became part of the French département of Ithaque. In the following year, 1798, the French were forced to yield the Ionian Islands to a combined Russian and Turkish fleet. From 1799 to 1807, Cephalonia was part of the Septinsular Republic, nominally under the sovereignty of the Ottoman Empire, but protected by Russia. By the Tilsit Treaty in 1807, the Ionian Islands were ceded back to France, which remained in control until 1809.
In 1809 Great Britain mounted a blockade on the Ionian Islands as part of the war against Napoleon, in September of that year they hoisted the British flag above the castle of Zakynthos. Cephalonia and Ithaca soon surrendered, the British installed provisional governments; the treaty of Paris in 1815 recognised the United States of the Ionian Islands and decreed that it become a British protectorate. Colonel Charles Philippe de Bosset became provisional governor between 1810 and 1814. During this period he was credited with achieving many public works, including the Drapano Bridge. A few years resistance groups started to form. Although their energy in the early years was directed to supporting the Greeks in the revolution against the Turks, it soon started to turn towards the British. By 1848 the resistance movement was gaining strength and there were skirmishes with the British Army in Argostoli and Lixouri, which led to some relaxation in the laws and to freedom of the press. Union with Greece was now a declared aim, by 1849, a growing restlessness resulted in more skirmishes.
The twenty-one instigators were hanged, another 34 were jailed and 87 whipped. Cephalonia, along with the other islands, were transferred to Greece in 1864 as a gesture of goodwill when the British-backed Prince William of Denmark became King George the First of the Hellenes. In 1864, together with all the other Ionian Islands, became a full member of the Greek state. In World War II, the island was occupied by Axis powers; until late 1943, the occupying force was predominantly Italian – the 33rd Infantry Division Acqui plus Navy personnel totalled 12,000 men – but about 2,000 troops from Germany were present. The island was spared the fighting, until the armistice with Italy concluded by the Allies in September 1943. Confusion followed on the island, as the Italians were hoping to return home, but German forces did not want the Italians' munitions to be used against them; as German reinforcements headed to the island the Italians dug in and after a referendum among the soldiers as to surrender or battle, they fought against the new German invasion.
The fighting came to a head at the siege of Argostoli. The Germans prevailed
Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, the 88th largest island in the world and the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, after Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica. Crete and a number of surrounding islands and islets constitute the region of Crete, one of the 13 top-level administrative units of Greece; the capital and the largest city is Heraklion. As of 2011, the region had a population of 623,065. Crete forms a significant part of the economy and cultural heritage of Greece, while retaining its own local cultural traits, it was once the centre of the Minoan civilisation, the earliest known civilisation in Europe. The palace of Knossos lies in Crete; the island is first referred to as Kaptara in texts from the Syrian city of Mari dating from the 18th century BC, repeated in Neo-Assyrian records and the Bible. It was known in ancient Egyptian as Keftiu suggesting a similar Minoan name for the island; the current name of Crete is thought to be first attested in Mycenaean Greek texts written in Linear B, through the words ke-re-te, ke-re-si-jo, "Cretan".
In Ancient Greek, the name Crete first appears in Homer's Odyssey. Its etymology is unknown. One proposal derives it from a hypothetical Luwian word, *kursatta. In Latin, it became Creta; the original Arabic name of Crete was Iqrīṭiš, but after the Emirate of Crete's establishment of its new capital at ربض الخندق Rabḍ al-Ḫandaq, both the city and the island became known as Χάνδαξ or Χάνδακας, which gave Latin and Venetian Candia, from which were derived French Candie and English Candy or Candia. Under Ottoman rule, in Ottoman Turkish, Crete was called Girit. Crete is the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, it is located in the southern part of the Aegean Sea separating the Aegean from the Libyan Sea. The island has an elongated shape: it spans 260 km from east to west, is 60 km at its widest point, narrows to as little as 12 km. Crete covers an area of 8,336 km2, with a coastline of 1,046 km, it lies 160 km south of the Greek mainland. Crete is mountainous, its character is defined by a high mountain range crossing from west to east, formed by three different groups of mountains: The White Mountains or Lefka Ori 2,454 m The Idi Range (Psiloritis 35.18°N 24.82°E / 35.18.
The island has a number of gorges, such as the Samariá Gorge, Imbros Gorge, Kourtaliotiko Gorge, Ha Gorge, Platania Gorge, the Gorge of the Dead and Richtis Gorge and waterfall at Exo Mouliana in Sitia. The rivers of Crete include the Ieropotamos River, the Koiliaris, the Anapodiaris, the Almiros, the Giofyros, Megas Potamos. There are only two freshwater lakes in Crete: Lake Kournas and Lake Agia, which are both in Chania regional unit. Lake Voulismeni at the coast, at Aghios Nikolaos, was a freshwater lake but is now connected to the sea, in Lasithi. Lakes that were created by dams exist in Crete. There are three: the lake of Aposelemis Dam, the lake of Potamos Dam, the lake of Mpramiana Dam. A large number of islands and rocks hug the coast of Crete. Many are visited by tourists, some are only visited by biologists; some are environmentally protected. A small sample of the islands includes: Gramvousa the pirate island opposite the Balo lagoon Elafonisi, which commemorates a shipwreck and an Ottoman massacre Chrysi island, which hosts the largest natural Lebanon cedar forest in Europe Paximadia island where the god Apollo and the goddess Artemis were born The Venetian fort and leper colony at Spinalonga opposite the beach and shallow waters of Elounda Dionysades islands which are in an environmentally protected region together the Palm Beach Forest of Vai in the municipality of Sitia, LasithiOff the south coast, the island of Gavdos is located 26 nautical miles south of Hora Sfakion and is the southernmost point of Europe.
Crete straddles two climatic zones, the Mediterranean and the North African falling within the former. As such, the climate in Crete is Mediterranean; the atmosphere can be quite humid, depending on the proximity to the sea, while winter is mild. Snowfall is rare in the low-lying areas. While some mountain tops are snow-capped for most of the year, near the coast snow only stays on the ground for a few minutes or hours. However, a exceptional cold snap swept the island in February 2004, during which period the whole island was blanketed with snow. During the Cretan summer, average temperatures reach the high 20s-low 30s Celsius, with maxima touching the upper 30s-mid 40s; the south coast, including the Mesara Pla
Athens is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, with its recorded history spanning over 3,400 years and its earliest human presence starting somewhere between the 11th and 7th millennium BC. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state that emerged in conjunction with the seagoing development of the port of Piraeus, a distinct city prior to its 5th century BC incorporation with Athens. A center for the arts and philosophy, home of Plato's Academy and Aristotle's Lyceum, it is referred to as the cradle of Western civilization and the birthplace of democracy because of its cultural and political impact on the European continent, in particular the Romans. In modern times, Athens is a large cosmopolitan metropolis and central to economic, industrial, maritime and cultural life in Greece. In 2012, Athens was ranked the world's 39th richest city by purchasing power and the 67th most expensive in a UBS study. Athens is a global one of the biggest economic centres in southeastern Europe.
It has a large financial sector, its port Piraeus is both the largest passenger port in Europe, the second largest in the world. While at the same time being the sixth busiest passenger port in Europe; the Municipality of Athens had a population of 664,046 within its administrative limits, a land area of 38.96 km2. The urban area of Athens extends beyond its administrative municipal city limits, with a population of 3,090,508 over an area of 412 km2. According to Eurostat in 2011, the functional urban area of Athens was the 9th most populous FUA in the European Union, with a population of 3.8 million people. Athens is the southernmost capital on the European mainland; the heritage of the classical era is still evident in the city, represented by ancient monuments and works of art, the most famous of all being the Parthenon, considered a key landmark of early Western civilization. The city retains Roman and Byzantine monuments, as well as a smaller number of Ottoman monuments. Athens is home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Acropolis of Athens and the medieval Daphni Monastery.
Landmarks of the modern era, dating back to the establishment of Athens as the capital of the independent Greek state in 1834, include the Hellenic Parliament and the so-called "architectural trilogy of Athens", consisting of the National Library of Greece, the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and the Academy of Athens. Athens is home to several museums and cultural institutions, such as the National Archeological Museum, featuring the world's largest collection of ancient Greek antiquities, the Acropolis Museum, the Museum of Cycladic Art, the Benaki Museum and the Byzantine and Christian Museum. Athens was the host city of the first modern-day Olympic Games in 1896, 108 years it welcomed home the 2004 Summer Olympics, making it one of only a handful of cities to have hosted the Olympics more than once. 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 rendered in the plural on, like those of Θῆβαι and Μυκῆναι.
The root of the word is not of Greek or Indo-European origin, is a remnant of the Pre-Greek substrate of Attica. In antiquity, it was debated whether Athens took its name from its patron goddess Athena or Athena took her name from the city. Modern scholars now agree that the goddess takes her name from the city, because the ending -ene is common in names of locations, but rare for personal names. During the medieval period, the name of the city was rendered once again in the singular as Ἀθήνα. However, after the establishment of the modern Greek state, due to the conservatism of the written language, Ἀθῆναι became again the official name of the city and remained so until the abandonment of Katharevousa in the 1970s, when Ἀθήνα, Athína, became the official name. According to the ancient Athenian founding myth, the goddess of wisdom, competed against Poseidon, the god of the seas, for patronage of the yet-unnamed city. According to the account given by Pseudo-Apollodorus, Poseidon struck the ground with his trident and a salt water spring welled up.
In an alternative version of the myth from Vergil's Georgics, Poseidon instead gave the Athenians the first horse. In both versions, Athena offered the Athenians the first domesticated olive tree. Cecrops declared Athena the patron goddess of Athens. 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", to denote Athens as the "flowering city". 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 sometimes referred to as the City of the Violet Crown, first documented in Pindar's ἰοστέφανοι Ἀθᾶναι, or as τὸ κλεινὸν ἄστυ. In medieval texts, variant names include Setines and Astines, all derivations involving false splitting of p
Exarcheia is a neighborhood in downtown Athens, Greece close to the historical building of the National Technical University of Athens. The Exarcheia region is famous as a home for Greek anarchists, it took the name from a merchant named Exarchos. Exarcheia is bordered on the east by Kolonaki and is framed by Patission Street, Panepistimiou Street and Alexandras Avenue. Exarcheia is renowned for being Athens' historical core of radical political and intellectual activism; the National Archaeological Museum of Athens, the National Technical University of Athens and Strefi Hill are all located in Exarcheia. The central square features many cafes and bars with numerous retail computer shops located on Stournari street called the Greek Silicon Valley. Located on Exarcheia square is one of the oldest summer cinemas of Athens, called "Vox", as well as the Antonopoulos apartment building, known as the "Blue Building", because of its initial color, a typical example of modern architecture in Athens during the inter-war period.
Due to the political and intellectual character of the neighborhood, many bookstores, fair trade shops and organic food stores are located in Exarcheia. Exarcheia is known for having comic book shops; the district of Exarcheia was created between 1870 and 1880 at the confines of the city and has played a significant role in the social and political life of Greece. It is there the Athens Polytechnic uprising of November 1973. In December 2008, the murder of 15-year-old Alexandros Grigoropoulos by a policeman in Exarcheia caused rioting throughout Greece. Exarcheia is a place where many intellectuals and artists live and an area where many socialist and anti-fascist groups are accommodated. Exarcheia is an art hub where theatrical shows and concerts take place around the central square; the headquarters of PASOK, a Greek political party that supported austerity measures dictated by the European Union in 2009, are located in the neighborhood and has been a target of attacks by anarchists. Police stations and other symbols of authority such as banks are targets of far-leftist groups.
One can find numerous anti-capitalist graffiti in the district. Protests that begin in Exarcheia evidence diverse political formations and coalitions, including dispossessed young people, anti-authoritarians and Greek citizens from the moderate to extreme on both ends of the political spectrum; the European refugee crisis resulted in an enormous migration to Greece - in 2017, 55,000 people throughout Greece were registered as permanent residents. When borders between Greece and the European Union were closed, many migrants were forced to stay in camps that lacked housing or hygiene infrastructure; as a result and migrants sought alternative options within Athens, including squats in the Exarcheia neighborhood. On December 17, 1973, the Greek military raided the student occupation of the Athens Polytechnic University, killing 40 civilians; the events resulted in public outrage and the passing of the Academic Asylum Law, which designates university campuses as off-limits to police and military personnel.
This law has contributed to the prevalence of protests within Exarcheia, as the Polytechnic functions as a site of insurgent coordination as well as a safe haven from police violence. On December 6, 2008, a Greek police special guard shot and killed 15-year-old Alexis Grigoropoulos within blocks of the Athens Polytechnic University, leading to the largest protests in Greece since the end of the dictatorship in 1974. Protests originated in Exarcheia and the neighborhood continued to be the epicenter of demonstrations as they spread across Athens. In the aftermath of the riots and movements in Exarcheia expanded initiatives experimenting with new political formations to provide public spaces organized around an anti-hierarchical and anti-commercial ethos. For example, activists turned a parking lot into the guerrilla Park Navarinou, which hosted events such as ticket-free movie screenings and anti-consumerist fairs; the Sporos collective developed solidarity economies through trade and sale of Zapatista-produced goods, the Skoros collective promoted re-use and sharing practices.
Other new and renewed political formations in the neighborhood included producer or consumer cooperatives and collective kitchens. Exarcheia is the site of a large refugee community; the overcrowding and abuse within Greek refugee camps has propelled a movement of squatting within Athens and across Greece. There are more than a dozen squats in Athens centered in Exarcheia, serving as housing and social centers for refugees, migrants, or anarchists; these squats provide space for diverse communities and coalitions. For example, the City Plaza squat houses Afghanis, Iranians, Kurds and Pakistanis within a single occupied hotel. Many of these spaces aim to recreate the feeling of home for displaced refugees. However, far-right, neo-fascist, nationalistic organizations have been connected to multiple attacks and burnings of refugee squats. In addition, the Syriza government has evicted multiple squats in Athens. In addition and bordering Omonoia have been the focus specialized policing tactics in Greece.
These include an anti-protest police unit implemented after the dictatorship. Betty Arvaniti