The peninsula of Attica extends in the geographic center of the Greek territory. Its historical past is lost in the darkness of the times and arrives to us through the legends of the prehelenic races, installed here at the end of the Neolithic period. Passing through all the processes of social development, the first inhabitants begin to occupy the territory of the plain around the sacred hill and still in remote times, adoring to Dionysus, God of the wine, and other deities, begin the construction of temples on it. But pretty later, from the 6th century before Christ, is when appears Athens (the maintained theory about the origins of the name of this beautiful city of Athens, a name in plural, can be the set of the towns of the valley of Attica united under the same name), Athens becomes the main city of the Greek world. The apogee of Athens arrives during the fifth century, the Golden Age, when the city becomes the leader of all the continental city-states and the Aegean Sea. At this moment Athens counts on a delimited population, under the same language, the same religion and politic and the same national pride: the Hellenism. And he is precisely during the 5th century that the needs of the democracy cause that majestic constructions rise around the rock. In the North part the Agora settles, the most important place of meeting for the citizens and on the rock the dedicated temples are constructed to the Gods that protect this progress. The Acropolis of Athens, the unique one constructed with religious aims, during the Golden Age of Athens, offers to the world the Parthenon, the poetry of the architecture and in honor to the first local governors the Erechtheion is elevated, temple dedicated to Erechtheus, the Athenian goddess and Poseidon, God of the sea. The city shines and is protected by the Gods and envied by the mortals. The process of the glorification is interrupted by the wars between the two formed philosophical currents through the centuries. The war of Peloponnese ends with many lives, among them of Pericles, the creator of the Athenian miracle and Athens passes in second terms. But now, 3rd century B.C. Athens and all the Greek territory shake to the military parade of the soldiers of Alexander the Great. The young strategist manages to unify the Greeks, with the power of his sword and once he has united them, departs to the conquest of the known world imposing a globalised commerce and a unique culture, the Greek, from the columns of Hercules (Strait of Gibraltar) to the Hindu river.
Athens loses its privileges and passes in second terms. In the brief space that follows the early death of Alexander, his successors divide the Hellenistic empire and continue realizing the dream of the visionary Alexander the Great. But the facts are faster. A new force appears in the scene of history and Athens in the 146 is conquered by the Romans. The admiration for the city is surprising. The barbarian Roman soldiers are baptized to the Greek culture and to their return to Rome are bringing new Gods, new architecture and all the philosophical discipline of Athens referring to the politic and the democracy.
The appearance of the Christianity, a new intellectual force means the end of the old world. Athens passes to be the representative of the idolatry and his luck this thrown: with the support of the state begin to destroy the temples and the philosophical schools collapse victims of the religious fanaticism. Athens becomes an insignificant city, one of so many within the empire that now is changing its identity. The combination of the Greek culture with the Christianity causes the birth of the new empire. The citizens of the new empire now speak the Latin, they are Christian and the empire is divided in Eastern and western with capitals to Rome and to Constantinople. It is the beginning of the darkest period for Athens. The new Byzantine empire whose territories include Athens is concentrated around Constantinople. During almost 15 centuries Athens disappears from the scene, undressed of its protagonist role, and falls, like all the empire into the hands of the Ottoman.
Athens crosses another dark period of its history. During 4 centuries live the misery and the destruction. The 1821 revolution the most successful of all brings as result the independence of the country that gradually returns to be made up and to return to form Greece like in its origins. Soon Athens returns to become the capital of the New Greek state. The love and admiration of Greeks and friends return to construct the schools and to look up for its roots in the ruins.
The archaeological bistoury with very limited resources returns to surface the glorious past and with the excavations revive the history. Athens returns to catch the way to the glory with small parentheses during which supports conquests with dignity. The inclemencies of the time and the barbarism have left their ineffaceable tracks on the ground of Athens. Finalized World War I, finds to Greece with the reclaimed territory and in the way of the progress. Passed the monarchies, Greece enters the democratic process and Athens capital is the most important city of the country. Finished the Second World War finds Athens destroyed by the Nazi bombings and enters in a period of reconstruction and recovery. Their privileged position and his admired past help it to recover and or in this new Athens period, capital of the new republic, is the center of letters, hosting international organizations like NATO or the European Union and more. At the moment Athens counts on a population of little less than 4 million along with the famous and so sung port of Piraeus and is the capital of the parliamentary presidential Republic, member of NATO and the European Union and the most important International Organizations.
Get the Flash Player to see this player.