Athens is one of the oldest named cities in the world, having been continuously inhabited for at least 5000 years. Situated in southern Europe, Athens became the leading city of Ancient Greece in the first millennium BC, and its cultural achievements during the 5th century BC laid the foundations of western civilisation.
During the early Middle Ages, the city experienced a decline, then recovered under the later Byzantine Empire and was relatively prosperous during the period of the Crusades (12th and 13th centuries), benefiting from Italian trade. Following a period of sharp decline under the rule of the Ottoman Empire, Athens re-emerged in the 19th century as the capital of the independent and self-governing Greek state.
Athens is rich in ancient sites and buildings, including the areopagus, the acropolis (seen below), the agora, various amphitheatres and various athenaea (temples of Athena, like the Parthenon), as well as numerous other architectural remains, and monuments, statuary and objects of everyday life. The Acropolis Museum, the National Archaeological Museum and numerous other museums and galleries also have objects and remains of the ancient city.
This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme.