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Athens's mythological history began when the Olympian gods got in a tug-of-war over who would be the Attic city's patron and namesake. They decided that whoever gave it the best gift would earn the city. Poseidon struck the Acropolis with hi trident, and a sea water gushed forth from a well. But Athena's wiser gift, an olive tree, won the city's lasting admiration and worship. Rising to political power a early as the 16th century BC, Athens was united as a polis, or city-state, by the hero Theseus (onetime slayer of the Minotaur). By the 8th century, it had become the artistic center of Greece ; initial fame for geometric pottery foreshadowed a shining future.

Two centuries later, law-giver and poet Solon ended the servitude of native citizens and restored rights to some slaves. Maybe his most important contribution to Athenian government was his codification of the laws, thereby providing the grounding needed for a successful democracy: an informed populace able to take part in ruling. After victories over the Persians at Marathon and Salamis in the 5th century BC, Athens experienced a 70-year Golden Age under the democracy of Pericles, the era that produced the Parthenon; the masterpiece tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides; and Aristophanes's ribald comedies.

Pericles's Athens fell apart during the bloody, drawn-out Peloponnesian War (431-404 BC) against Sparta . Political power shifted north under Philip of Macedon and his son Alexander the Great, but Athens remained a cultural center throughout the 5th and 4th centuries BC. In this period, Athens produced three of the most influential philosophers in western history-Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle-as well as the orator Demosthenes. By the 2nd century AD, the Roman Empire ruled the city. In AD 324, Emperor Constantine moved the capital of the Roman Empire to Byzantium , ignoring Athens , now an overtaxed backwater. It remained the center of Greek education, but its status (and buildings) lapsed into ruin when the emperor .Justinian banned the teaching of philosophy in 529.

Around AD 1000, Byzantine emperor Basil II visited Athens . After praying to the Virgin Mary in the Parthenon, Basil ordered craftsmen to restore Athens to its former glory. The city was reborn again and again under successive conquerors the Franks in 1205, the Catalans in 1311, the Accajioli merchant family in 1387, and the Ottomans, whose 400-year rule began in 1456. In 1821, Greek independence brought further waves of renovation and restoration, as well as a spirit of nationalism. Modem Athens 's plateias, wide boulevards, and National Garden follow the plan of architects hired by Greece 's first king, the German prince Otto.


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 The Stanley
The Stanley, Athens
Conveniently located 1969 feet from Athens city center and just steps from Metaxourgeio Metro Station, Stanley Hotel features a rooftop pool, 2 restaurants and 3 bars, including an open-air bar on the more...
 Alexander's Penthouse
Alexander's Penthouse, Athens
Located in the heart of Athens, this air-conditioned penthouse features unique views of the Parthenon, the Temple of Zeus and Mount Lycabettus from its spacious terrace. more...
 Athens Mosaico Suites & Apartments
Athens Mosaico Suites & Apartments, Athens
Featuring a rooftop swimming pool with views over the Acropolis, Athens Mosaico Suites & Apartments is centrally located in Athens, just 164 feet from Metaxourgio Metro Station. more...
 Acropolis Elegant Penthouse
Acropolis Elegant Penthouse, Athens
Located on the 5th floor of a neoclassical building with wood parquet floors, Acropolis Elegant Penthouse offers self-catering accommodations in the center of Athens, 656 feet from Temple of Olympion more...
 Hidesign Athens Acropolis Penthouse In Plaka
Hidesign Athens Acropolis Penthouse In Plaka, Athens
Featuring city views, Hidesign Athens Acropolis Penthouse In Plaka is located around 200 yards from Adrianou Street. Guests staying at this apartment can use the fully equipped kitchen. more...
 Hotel Grande Bretagne, a Luxury Collection Hotel
Hotel Grande Bretagne, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Athens
With a prime location, opposite Constitution Square and the House of Parliament, the Grande Bretagne features luxurious rooms and stunning city views from its magnificent rooftop terrace. more...
 Unique Acropolis View
Unique Acropolis View, Athens
Unique Acropolis View is located right in the center of Athens, just 300 yards from Odeum of Herodes Atticus and a 5-minute walk from Acropolis Museum. more...
 Thiseio 1915
Thiseio 1915, Athens
Offering a terrace, Thiseio 1915 is located in the Athens City Centre district of Athens, 200 yards from Ancient Agora of Athens. Complimentary WiFi is featured. more...
 The Athens Explorer
The Athens Explorer, Athens
Located in the heart of Athens, within 0.4 miles of Onassis Cultural Centre and 0.4 miles of Filopappos Hill, The Athens Explorer offers city views. The property has free WiFi. more...
 Euryclea Residences
Euryclea Residences, Athens
Centrally located in Athens, Euryclea Residences is 984 feet from Syntagma Square and within a 5-minute walk of Plaka district. Zappion - National Garden is 1312 feet from the property. more...
 Olympus Residence
Olympus Residence, Athens
Featuring free WiFi and air conditioning, Olympus The Residence of Gods is located in Athens, 1312 feet from Panathenaic Stadium. War Museum is 1969 feet away. more...
 Center Of Athens Loft
Center Of Athens Loft, Athens
Located in Athens, within 80 yards of Ermou Street Shopping Area, Center Of Athens Loft offers accommodations with air conditioning. Guests staying at this apartment can use the free WiFi. more...
 Somewhere Vouliagmeni
Somewhere Vouliagmeni, Athens
Set in the exclusive, seaside suburb of Vouliagmeni, Somewhere Vouliagmeni features an outdoor pool and magnificent sea views. more...
 Athens Residence Apartments
Athens Residence Apartments, Athens
Centrally located in Athens, just a 10-minute walk from the Acropolis Museum, Athens Residence Apartments is a complex of elegantly decorated apartments with free WiFi access. more...
 Acropolis Caryatids Apartment 1
Acropolis Caryatids Apartment 1, Athens
Located 656 feet from Acropolis Metro Station and a 2-minute walk of Acropolis Museum in Athens, this modernly decorated, air-conditioned apartment features free WiFi and a balcony with city views. more...


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