About the City

The city chosen for the 2016 edition of the conference is Athens.  It is the capital of Greece (see Figure 1).  It is the most populated city in Greece, heart of a metropolitan area of about four million people. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, with its recorded history spanning around 3,400 years.


Figure 1. Attica region and Athens city.


A large part of the town’s historic centre has been converted into a 3-kilometre pedestrian zone (the largest in Europe), leading to the major archaeological sites (“archaeological park”), reconstructing – to a large degree – the ancient landscape. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state that emerged in conjunction with the seagoing development of the port of Piraeus. The city was a centre for the arts, learning and philosophy, and home of Plato's Academy and Aristotle's Lyceum.

Athens is home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Acropolis of Athens and the mediaeval Daphni Monastery. Landmarks of the modern era, dating back to the establishment of Athens as the capital of the independent Greek state in 1834, include the Hellenic Parliament (19th century) and the Athens Trilogy, consisting of the National Library of Greece, the Athens University and the Academy of Athens. Athens was the host city of the first modern-day Olympic Games in 1896, and 108 years later it welcomed home the 2004 Summer Olympics. Athens is home to the National Archaeological Museum, featuring the world's largest collection of ancient Greek antiquities, as well as the new Acropolis Museum.


Figure 2 shows the new Acropolis Museum, one of the most important contemporary works of architecture in Athens. It is made of steel, glass and concrete and it houses 4,000 priceless finds from the Acropolis monuments that represent its history and function as the most important religious centre of ancient Athens. Figure 3 shows the area around the Acropolis hill with Monastiraki and Plaka.

Figure 2. The New Acropolis Museum.


Figure 3. Around the hill of Acropolis, Monastiraki and Plaka.


The city has an international airport, with daily connections to all major capitals and airline hubs in Europe (Paris, Munich, Frankfurt, London, Amsterdam, Madrid, Barcelona, Brussels, Copenhagen, etc.).