Athens Greece, is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the economic, cultural, and political life of modern Greece.
Athens is a sprawling city located on the Attic Plain of southeastern Greece. Mountains rise in a semicircle around the city. They include the peaks of Parnitha , Pendeli, and Ymettos. At least one of these peaks can be seen from nearly every street in Athens. Located about 8 km (about 5 mi) southwest of Athens is Piraeus (Pireas), Greece’s largest sea – port. Piraeus overlooks the Gulf of Saronikos (Saronic Gulf), an arm of the Aegean Sea. Two rivers, the Kifisos in the west and the Ilisos in the east, flow through the city.
Athens is often called the cradle of Western civilization for its momentous cultural achievements during the 5th and 4th centuries bc. The city still holds a wealth of ancient buildings, monuments, and artworks from the classical age of Ancient Greece, as well as museums devoted to Greek art, culture, and history. Many of the cultural highlights of Athens were renovated in preparation for the 2004 Summer Olympic Games.
The greater Athens metropolitan area had an estimated population of about 3.2 million in 2003, nearly one-third of the total population of Greece. Athens expanded rapidly during the 20th century and today covers nearly the entire Attic Plain. In addition to ethnic Greeks, the Athens region is home to many thousands of immigrants. The city’s high population density has contributed to urban problems such as traffic congestion, air pollution, and overcrowding