Athens, Greece By: Amanda Mooney 8-D 10/29/12
Landforms Greece is made up mostly of mountains because most of the country is located on the Pindus Mountain Range. The mountains dip down, which create valleys. There are also many ridges located along the coast of Athens, Greece. A large portion of Greece is made up of islands. Greece is cut into thirteen land divisions; four of which are islands. The highest point in Greece is Mt. Olympus. It is 2,918 meters tall. Albania, Bulgaria, Macedonia and Turkey are all countries that boarder Greece. The Aegean Sea, Sea of Crete, Mediterranean Sea, and the Ionian Sea all surround the border of Greece.
Tourist Attractions Temple of Olympian Zeus Olympic Stadium Areopagus Rock Syntagma Square The Parthenon
Temple of Olympian Zeus The Temple of Olympian Zeus was the largest temple in Greece at its time. Work began on the temple in 515 BC during the reign of the tyrant Peisistratos. The tyrant, however, died before it was finished being built. It was not completed until 132 BC by the Emperor Hadrian. The temple was built in honor of the Greek god Zeus. Sadly, it was attacked by Greek enemies not long before the fall of the entire Greek Empire. Only some of the temple still remains.
Olympic Stadium The Olympic Stadium, built of marble, is the largest building in Athens. It seats around 60,000 people. Although the stadium is entirely modern, it was built on top of where the ancient arena once stood. The first Olympic Stadium was built around 335 B.C., while the modern-day one was constructed in 1986. The stadium is a popular tourist attraction for visitors.
Areopagus Rock The Areopagus Rock is a rocky hill located just below the town of Acropolis. In Ancient Greece, the Council of Nobles and the Judicial Court met on the peak. Many years later, St Paul preached from this sacred location. Areopagus Rock is also called Mars Hill. This a popular tourist attraction, and makes for a wonderful photo opportunity!
The Parthenon The Parthenon was built in honor of the goddess Athena. The people of Athens considered her their patron. Construction began in 447 BC, which was when the Greek Empire was at the height of its power.The Parthenon replaced an older temple which many people call the Pre-Parthenon . This temple was voted the most popular tourist attraction in Athens.
Syntagma Square Syntagma Square is located directly across from the Greek Parliament. It is considered to be the heart of modern Athens. Syntagma is always busy, which makes it perfect for people watching. There are a great number of museums, art galleries, and historical monuments in and around Syntagma Square. At the top of Syntagma is the Parliament Building, formerly the King's Palace, built between 1836 and 1840 by King Otto.
Languages The official language of Greece is Greek, which is spoken by 94% of the population. A number of minority languages are spoken as well. The most common foreign languages are English, French, Spanish and Italian.
Government Greece is a parliamentary republic. The head of state is the President of the Republic. The president is elected by the Parliament for a five-year term. The current President of Greece is KarolosPapouliass. He took office on March 12th, 2005. He was re-elected on February 3rd, 2010. In Greece the real power is held by the Prime Minister. The President is the head of state, but his role is mainly symbolic. The current Prime Minister isAntonisSamaras.
Ohi Day Ohi Day is celebrated on October the 28th. In 1940 the Prime Minister of Greece said “Ohi“, which means “No” in Greek, to the ambassador of Italy. The ambassador had asked the prime minister to allow Italian troops on Greek soil. Greece usually agreed with Italy out of fear, but on this autumn afternoon Greece stood its ground. The Greeks would later defend their country from the Italians who tried to invade. This is an important day in Greece’s history.
Economy Although the economy of Greece has improved in recent years due to industrial development and tourism the country is still in a economic crisis. Greece is one of the poorest countries in the European Union with the second-to-lowest average income, after Portugal. Greece has an agricultural economy, but it also depends greatly on shipping and tourism.
Interesting Facts • No one in Greece can choose to not vote. Voting is required by law for every citizen who is 18 or older. • Greece has more than 2,000 islands, of which approximately 170 are populated. Greece’s largest island is Crete. • Greece is the leading producer of sea sponges. • In Greece, people celebrate the “name day” of the saint that bears their name rather than their own birthday.
Only boys and men were actors in ancient Greek plays. • Alexander the Great was the first Greek ruler to put his own face on Greek coins. Previously, Greek coins had shown the face of a god or goddess. • Greek workers get at least one month of paid vacation every year. • Greece’s currency, the drachma, is 2,650 years old and Europe’s oldest currency. The drachma was replaced with the Euro in 2002.