Athens is the capital of Greece and with its port Piraeus and their suburbs, form the biggest metropolitan area in the country and one of the biggest in Europe. The city is built on seven hills like its neighbouring Rome (Italy) and Istanbul (Turkey). It is located on the Attica plain on the Greek mainland and is surrounded by mountains on three sides, presenting many similarities with Los Angeles CA, because of its mild, Mediterranean climate and its overall geographical setting.
Although inhabited as early as the Neolithic times (1400 BC), Athens is famous for its Golgen Age (6th and 5th Century BC). During that period, The Athens Acropolis, the famous world-class religious monument was built, dedicated to Goddess Pallas Athena, the patron of the city according to the Greek Mythology. The complex was built on a 150m-tall rock and is up to now visible from all parts of the city.
The city lost its importance after the Roman years and fell into oblivion until it became the capital of modern Greece in 1832, with a population slightly above 5,000. The city hosted the first modern Olympic games in 1896. Although it grew rapidly during the 20th century, there were just a few highrises built from the early 1960s until the late 1970s when new and stricter building codes were introduced. Modern Athens has a cosmopolitan character while it maintains its picturesque, Mediterranean flavour.
The city organised the 2004 Summer Olympics and consequently it has seen a major improvement in its overall infrastructure, including transportation and telecommunications. It is believed that besides modernising the city, these developments will further enhance its metropolitan status in southeastern Europe, as well as create opportunities for future development.