Vasilissis Amalias Avenue
Vasilissis Amalias Avenue is a major avenue in Athens linking Andrea Syngrou Avenue along with Athanasiou Diakou Street, a small artery to Vouliagmenis Avenue and Panepistimiou Street along with Vassilissis Sofias Avenue. This avenue was named after the first queen of modern Greece, consort to King Othon. Visitor attractions include the Greek Parliament with the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to the east and Syntagma Square to the west, the Arch of Hadrian and the Temple of Olympian Zeus to the south and the Zappeion to the east at the centre of the avenue; the avenue has three lanes and further north four with two coming from Vasilissis Sofias Avenue. The National Garden lies to the east and residential buildings cover the west with eight to ten storey buildings in the northwestern part. Athanasiou Diakou Street and Andrea Syngrou Avenue Dionysiou Areopagitou Street Lysistratous Street Vasilissis Olgas Avenue Filellinon Avenue Souri Street Xenofontos Street Vasilissis Sofias Avenue and Panepistimiou Street
Anti-austerity movement in Greece
The anti-austerity movement in Greece involves a series of demonstrations and general strikes that took place across the country. The events, which began on 5 May 2010, were provoked by plans to cut public spending and raise taxes as austerity measures in exchange for a €110 billion bail-out, aimed at solving the Greek government-debt crisis. Three people were killed on 5 May in one of the largest demonstrations in Greece since 1973. On 25 May 2011, anti-austerity activists organised by the Direct Democracy Now! movement, known as the Indignant Citizens Movement, started demonstrating in major cities across Greece. This second wave of demonstrations proved different from the years before in that they were not partisan and began through peaceful means; some of the events turned violent in the capital city of Athens. Inspired by the anti-austerity protests in Spain, these demonstrations were organised using social networking sites, which earned it the nickname "May of Facebook"; the demonstrations and square sit-ins were ended when municipal police removed demonstrators from Thessaloniki's White Tower square on 7 August 2011.
On 29 June 2011, violent clashes occurred between the riot police and activists as the Greek parliament voted to accept the EU's austerity requirements. Incidents of police brutality were reported by international media such as the BBC, The Guardian, CNN iReport and The New York Times, as well as by academic research and organisations Amnesty International; the Athens Prosecutor agreed to an investigation into accusations of excessive use of tear gas, as well as the alleged use of other expired and carcinogenic chemical substances. As of 2011 the investigation is under way. In the early to mid-2000s, the government took advantage of Greece's strong economy by running a large deficit; as the world economy cooled in the late 2000s, Greece was hit hard because its main industries—shipping and tourism—were sensitive to changes in the business cycle. As a result, the country's debt began to pile up rapidly. In early 2010 policy makers suggested. On 5 March 2010, the Hellenic Parliament passed the cost-cutting Economy Protection Bill.
On 23 April, the Greek government requested that a bailout package offered by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund be activated. The funds were expected to be available but it was unclear if they would be activated before a crucial 19 May debt rollover. On 27 April, Standard & Poor's cut the country's main debt rating to BB+, increasing concern that a default might occur. On 1 May, Prime Minister George Papandreou announced a fourth round of austerity measures by the Greek government, described as "unprecedented"; these include more public sector pay cuts, pension reductions, new taxes on company profits, an increase on luxury and sin taxes, an increase of the value added tax. The proposed changes, which aim to save €30 billion through 2012, represent the biggest government overhaul within a single generation; the cuts are in line with the EU-International Monetary Fund loan proposals, which demand that Greece liberalise its economy. They helped Greece reach a loan agreement, announced on 2 May, for an immediate €45 billion in loans, with additional funds available in the future.
The total value of the loans was expected to be in the €110 billion range. Papandreou submitted the bill to Parliament on 4 May; the Hellenic Parliament was expected to vote on the proposed austerity measures on 6 May. New Democracy, the conservative minority party, vowed to vote against the bill, but the bill was expected to pass because of the Panhellenic Socialist Movement's large 160-seat advantage in Parliament; the government has pleaded with demoralised staff not to retire, fearing that a surge in benefits requests could further drain the public treasury. In separate votes on 29 and 30 June, Parliament approved; the 2008 Greek riots started on 6 December 2008, when Alexandros Grigoropoulos, a 15-year-old student, was killed by two policemen in the Exarcheia district of central Athens. While the unrest was triggered by the shooting incident, commentators described the reactions as expressing deeper causes a widespread feeling of frustration in the younger generation about the economic problems of the country, a rising unemployment rate among young people and a perception of general inefficiency and corruption in Greek state institutions.
Related sporadic protests continued into 2011 and beyond. On May Day, there were protest marches in Athens and Thessaloniki, by many unions, left-wing and communist party supporters. Violent clashes broke out. On 4 May, members of the Communist Party of Greece broke into the Acropolis of Athens and hung banners: "Peoples of Europe Rise Up". In response to the proposed spending cuts and tax increases, a nationwide strike was called for 5 May. Starting at midnight, aeroplane and ferry traffic in and out of the country ceased. Schools, some hospitals, many private businesses were closed; the demonstrations are seen by some as the most widespread since the end of the Greek military junta of 1967–1974. An estimated 100,000 people marched through Athens, with some estimates stretching to 500,000; as protests gained momentum, a large group tried to storm the parliament building in Syntagma Square in Athens, where they scuffled with police, causing some of the Presidential Guard to flee from the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
The protesters accused members of parliament of being "
The Athens Tram is the modern public tram network system serving Athens, Greece. It is now owned and operated by Urban Rail Transport S. A.. STASY operates a fleet of 35 Sirio vehicles, which serve 48 tram stops; the tram network spans a total length of 27 kilometres, covers ten Athenian suburbs. This network runs from Syntagma Square to the southwestern suburb of Palaio Faliro, where the line splits in two branches; the network covers the majority of the city's Saronic Gulf coastline. Athens' STASY tram system provides average daily service to 65,000 passengers, employs 345 people. Photography and video-taking on the tram and its stations is allowed. Athens Tram began its operations in 1882 with horse tramways. After 1908, the metre gauge tram network was extended to 21 lines; the original Athens tram system ceased operations in 1960 and was replaced by trolleybuses and motorbuses. However, a standard gauge tram system was built along the perimeter of Piraeus Harbour by the Hellenic Electric Railways.
In March 2001, Tram S. A. was established as a public utility company under the supervision of the Ministry of Transport and Communications, as a subsidiary company of Attiko Metro S. A. the state company. The company started the construction of the tram lines in the beginning of 2002, while the commercial launch of the system took place in July 2004, a few weeks prior to the Athens 2004 Olympic Games; the construction of the tram network was financed by the Third European Regional Development Fund and Greek state funds. In March 2011, the Greek Government passed Law 3920 to allow ISAP and Athens Tram to be absorbed by Athens Metro Operations Company; the resulting company was renamed "STASY S. A." and is a subsidiary of OASA S. A; the merger was announced on June 10, 2011. Ticket counters operate in some of the stations. Automatic ticket machines with touch screens are available at all stations. Purchased tickets are valid for 90 minutes after validation and can be used for several rides on most other means of public transport in Athens including the metro, buses and the urban part of the suburban railway.
Passengers must validate their tickets at the electronic validating machines inside the tram vehicle at the start of their ride. The normal adult flat fare is €1.40. There are daily and weekly tickets, as well as monthly cards which apply for all means of public transport in Athens. Fares are checked frequently. Children under 6, the handicapped, persons enlisted in the military are eligible for free transportation. Athens Tram has three routes named after ancient Greeks: Thucydides and Plato. Trams run from 5:00am to midnight daily; the following table lists the routes and the stops for the Athens tram: Further extensions are planned towards the major commercial port of Piraeus. The expansion would include 12 new stations and increase the overall length of the tram system by 5.4 km. Athens Mass Transit System Piraeus-Perama light railway Railway Museum of Athens List of rapid transit systems ^I As of October 2012, none of the organisations behind the construction or operation of the Athens Metro specify the exact line colour values for web or print, but they agree on a general colour scheme for identifying lines.
Urban Rail Transport S. A.: Tramway Athens Urban Transport Organisation UrbanRail. Net - Athens Tram Network map
Theatre of Dionysus
The Theatre of Dionysus Eleuthereus is a major theatre in Athens, considered to be the world's first theatre, built at the foot of the Athenian Acropolis. Dedicated to Dionysus, the god of plays and wine, the theatre could seat as many as 17,000 people with excellent acoustics, making it an ideal location for ancient Athens' biggest theatrical celebration, the Dionysia, it was the first theatre built, cut into the southern cliff face of the Acropolis, the birthplace of Greek tragedy. The remains of a restored and redesigned Roman version can still be seen at the site today, it is sometimes confused with the smaller, better-preserved Odeon of Herodes Atticus, located nearby on the southwest slope of the Acropolis. The site has been used as a theatre since the sixth century BC; the existing structure dates back to the fourth century BC but it has had many other remodellings. On November 24, 2009 the Greek government announced that they would restore the Theatre of Dionysus; the site of the Theatre of Dionysus Eleuthereus, on the south slope of the Athenian Acropolis, has been known since the 1700s.
The Greek Archaeological Society excavated the remains of the theatre beginning in 1846 and throughout most of the 19th century. Early remains in the area relating to the cult of Dionysus Eleuthereus have been dated to the 6th century BC, during the rule of Peisistratus and his successors, but a theatre was not built on the site until a century later; the only certain evidence of this early theatre consists of a few stone blocks that were reused in the 100 century BC. During the sixth century BC performances associated with the festivals of Dionysus were held in the Athenian agora, with spectators seated on wooden bleachers set up around a flat circular area, the orchestra, until the ikria collapsed in the early fifth century BC, an event attested in ancient sources. After the collapse of the stands, the dramatic and musical contests were moved to the precinct of Dionysus on the slope of the Acropolis; the early theatre must have been simple, comprising a flat orchestra, with a few rows of wooden or stone benches set into the hill.
The oldest orchestra in the theatre precinct is thought to have been square, although there is some debate as to its original size and shape. A wooden scene building was introduced at the back of the orchestra, serving for the display of artificial scenery and to enhance the acoustics, it was in this unpretentious setting that the plays of the great fifth century BC Attic tragedians were performed. By the end of the fifth century BC, some of the wooden constructions had been replaced with stone; the Theatre of Dionysus in its present general state dates to the period of the Athenian statesman Lycurgus, who, as overseer of the city's finances and building program, refurbished the theatre with stone in monumental form. The fourth century theatre had a permanent stage extending in front of the orchestra and a three-tiered seating area that stretched up the slope; the scene building had projecting wings at both ends, which might have accommodated stairways or movable scenery. According to Margarete Bieber, the earliest stone skene with remains surviving is that of the Theatre of Dionysus.
Alterations to the stage were made in the subsequent Hellenistic period, 67 marble thrones were added around the periphery of the orchestra, inscribed with the names of the dignitaries that occupied them. The marble thrones that can be seen today in the theatre take the form of klismos chairs, are thought to be Roman copies of earlier versions. At the center of this row of seats was a grand marble throne reserved for the priest of Dionysus; the Theatre of Dionysus underwent a modernization in the Roman period, although the Greek theatre retained much of its integrity and general form. An new stage was built in the first century CE, was dedicated to Dionysus and the Roman emperor Nero. By this time, the floor of the orchestra had been paved with marble slabs, new seats of honor were constructed around the edge of the orchestra. Late alterations carried out in the third century AD by the archon Phaedrus included the re-use of earlier Hadrianic reliefs, which were built into the front of the stage building.
The remains of a restored and redesigned Roman version of the theatre can still be seen at the site today. The theatre was dedicated to the god of wine and the patron of drama. Among those who competed were the dramatists of the classical era whose works have survived: Aeschylus, Euripides and Menander; the advent of tragedy, in particular, is credited to the Athenians with festivals staged during specific times of year. These dramatic festivals were competitive among playwrights and involved the production of four plays, three tragedies and one satyr play featuring lighter themes. Early on, the subject matter of the four plays was linked, with the three tragedies forming a trilogy, such as the Oresteia of Aeschylus; this famous trilogy won the competition of 458 BC held in the Theatre of Dionysus Eleuthereus. The plays tell the story of the curse on the House of Atreus: Agamemnon’s murder by his wife, the revenge of their son, upon his mother, Orestes’ trial in Athens. By the time of the Oresteia, dramatists would have had a skene and also a wheeled platform for special effects and a lifting device available for their productions, as well as the use of a third actor.
In the late fourth century exaggerated masks were worn and considered important for character identification to an audience consisting of thousand
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
Pláka is the old historical neighborhood of Athens, clustered around the northern and eastern slopes of the Acropolis, incorporating labyrinthine streets and neoclassical architecture. Plaka is built on top of the residential areas of the ancient town of Athens, it is known as the "Neighborhood of the Gods" due to its proximity to the Acropolis and its many archaeological sites. The name "Plaka" was not in use until after the Greek War of Independence. Instead, the Athenians of that time referred to the area by various names such as Alikokou, Kandili, or by the names of the local churches; the name Plaka became in use in the first years of the rule of King Otto. The origin of the name is uncertain: it has been theorized to come from Arvanite "Pliak Athena", meaning "Old Athens", or from the presence of a "plaque" which once marked its central intersection. Plaka is on the northeast slope between Syntagma and Monastiraki square. Adrianou Street is the largest and most central street in Plaka and divides it into two areas: the upper level, - Ano Plaka - located right under the Acropolis and the lower level - Kato Plaka - situated between Syntagma and Monastiraki.
Plaka was developed around the ruins of Ancient Agora of Athens in an area, continuously inhabited since antiquity. During the years of Ottoman rule, Plaka was the known as the "Turkish quarter of Athens", the seat of the Turkish Voevode. During the Greek War of Independence, Plaka like the rest of Athens, was temporarily abandoned by its inhabitants because of the severe battles that took place in 1826; the area was repopulated during the first years of King Otto's rule. Plaka had a sizable Arvanite community till the late 19th century, which led some to refer to it as the Arvanite quarter of Athens. At the same period the neighborhood of Anafiotika, featuring traditional Cycladic architecture, was built by settlers from the Aegean island of Anafi. In 1884 a fire burned down a large part of the neighborhood which gave the opportunity for the archaeologists to conduct excavations in the Roman Market and Hadrian’s library. Excavations have been taking place continuously since 19th century. Plaka is visited by hundreds of thousands of tourists around the year, is under strict zoning and conservation regulations, as the only neighborhood in Athens where all utilities lie underground in accessible, custom-made tunneling.
Museums in Plaka include the new Acropolis Museum, the new Jewish Museum of Greece, the Museum of Greek Folk Art, an annex of, the Old Public Baths building, the Frissiras Museum, the Museum of Popular Music Instruments, the Museum of Pavlos and Alexandra Kanellopoulou and the Athens University Museum. Many movies of the Greek cinema were filmed in the area; some of them include: The Drunkard Woe to the Young And the Wife Shall Revere Her Husband
The Areopagus is a prominent rock outcropping located northwest of the Acropolis in Athens, Greece. Its English name is the Late Latin composite form of the Greek name Areios Pagos, translated "Ares Rock". In classical times, it functioned as the court for trying deliberate homicide and religious matters, as well as cases involving arson or olive trees. Ares was supposed to have been tried here by the gods for the murder of Poseidon's son Halirrhothius; the origin of its name is not clear. In Ancient Greek, πάγος pagos means "big piece of rock". Areios could have come from Ares or from the Erinyes, as on its foot was erected a temple dedicated to the Erinyes where murderers used to find shelter so as not to face the consequences of their actions; the Romans referred to the rocky hill as "Mars Hill", after Mars, the Roman God of War. 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 held high public office, in this case that of Archon. In 594 BC, the Areopagus agreed to hand over its functions to Solon for reform, he instituted democratic reforms, reconstituted its membership, returned control to the organization. In 462 BC, Ephialtes put through reforms which deprived the Areopagus of all its functions except that of a murder 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. Phryne, 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 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 Areopagus, like most city-state institutions, continued to function in Roman times, it was from this location, drawing from the potential significance of the Athenian altar to the Unknown God, that the Apostle Paul is said to have delivered the famous speech, "Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you.
The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands." The term "Areopagus" refers to the judicial body of aristocratic origin that subsequently formed the higher court of modern Greece. The English poet John Milton titled his defence of freedom of the press "Areopagitica," arguing that the censors of ancient Athens, based at the Areopagus, had not practiced the kind of prior restraint of publication being called for in the English Parliament of Milton's time; the Aeropagus Society, formed in 1893, is one of the oldest clubs at the preparatory school Hotchkiss and meets to debate on certain topics. Areopagus sermon Areopagus of Eastern Continental Greece, a regional Greek administration during the Greek Revolution of 1821, named after the Ancient Athenian institution; 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.
Edited by Thomas Curtis. P. 647 Acts 17:16-34 – A Biblical account of St. Paul discussing with the Areopagus the nature of the Christian God. Referred to is the story concerning the altar to "The Unknown God." Athens Photo Guide