Hello, dear friends. We will tell you interesting facts about Greece in this article.
- Population: 10,4 million persons.
- Language: Greek
- Religion: Christianity
- Currency: euro
Why we go to Greece? Strange question. To like the Mediterranean spirit, to inhale sweet air of pine groves, to luxuriate under the generous sun the South. Around Greece it is possible to travel, as around the illustrated collection of myths – from the temple to the temple, from Apollo to the Odyssey, from Parthenon to a marathon tomb.
Planning rest in Greece it is necessary to think of something special – charming hotel in a blue bay in the blossoming garden or a cozy chalet on the far island. Yes, island! Greece is the country of 3000 islands! In Crete, the Braid, Mikonos, Rhodes and Corfu the best-known hotels of Greece were located. Here traditionally the European elite – presidents, members of royal dynasties, stars of cinema and sport spends the vacation.
Along with sights of antique, Byzantine and modern Greece, you can visit various concerts, performances, festivals and evenings spent during the whole year. There are traditional annual actions, for example ‘The Athenian festival’, and also local holidays, representations and other cultural actions.
Night life of Greece proceeds till the morning. Night clubs, casino, discos, a bouzouki (where traditional music on this tool is executed) attract the visitors who have had a rest after a siesta.
Greece – paradise for fans of active recreation. Tours to Greece is in special demand for admirers of water sports – divers and yachtsmen. For the first the first-class diving centers are equipped here, respectable clubs are open for the second and there is a set of marines where white-winged beauties drop an anchor.
- Island Corfu
The island of Corfu which is buried in verdure and filled with the sun was known since ancient times under the name of Corfu. Here have found the shelter, coming back from a campaign behind the Golden Fleece, Yason and Argonauts. The most northern island of the Ionic archipelago, is the resort which is world-renowned today. Corfu is the world of a privacy, a combination of rest and fun in an environment of the magic nature.
- Island Braids
The island of Braids is known since ancient times. Exactly here in 460 the founder of medicine – Hippocrates was born. There are Asclepius’s ruins – places where he conducted the researches. The capital of the island stores traces of many centuries and civilizations. All of them have found reflection in her architecture. The Byzantine churches, the Turkish minarets and mosques, the Italian lodges – each culture left memory of itself on the island. Many sights are located on the coast and from there boundless sea panoramas open. On the island all conditions for vacationers, and also for fans of water sports are created.
- Island Crete
The biggest island of Greece – Crete. Rocky coast are cut up by a set of gulfs and bays. The deep gorges and high mountains, fertile plains and beautiful beaches, coasts covered with pebble – the landscape of the island is very different. Ancient cultures of Crete left monuments of unique architecture: The Knossos palace in which labyrinth the Minotaur, palaces Festos, Zakros, Malia has been ground. Cretan climate – one of the healthiest and soft in Europe, a guarantee of fine weather during your rest.
- Island Rhodes
Rhodes is called the island of the Sun and Roza. On a legend, Aphrodite and Poseidon’s daughter, the beautiful nymph Rhoda (Roza) became the beloved of god of the sun Helios and has given birth to him to seven sons. The senior from them ruled Rhodes, and the Rhodes cities are called by the names of his grandsons. In the ancient time on the bank of the Rhodes harbor the well-known statue “Colossus of Rhodes” recognized as one of seven wonders of the world towered. She hasn’t remained till our time, however today in Rhodes to eyes of the traveler the set of other interesting sights opens. There is a fortress of knights of the Order of Malta, Zeus’s temples, Athens and Apollo, antique stadium, gimnasiya (the platform for a training of athletes) and an amphitheater. Pride of the island – the unique reserve “Valley of Butterflies”. Magnificent beaches, a picturesque landscape and soft Mediterranean climate have made Rhodes the world famous resort.
Greece in the geographical relation is characterized by a variety. On the one hand, high mountains and ridges, on the other hand, uncountable surprises of a lacy border of sushi. Greece borders on Albania, Bulgaria and Turkey. The most western point – the island of Corfu, the most southern – the island of Crete. In one country of the world there is no such number of islands as in Greece. Geographically Greece treats Europe, being the most southern suburb of the Balkan Peninsula.
The small group of the Ionian Islands forms the chain limiting Greece from the West. Islands of the Aegean Sea, on the contrary, are numerous: some of them are united in in archipelagoes, such as groups of islands in the northeast of the Aegean Sea – Sporades, Cyclades, Dodecanese, others are located separately: such is for example island of Crete in the south. The Kikladsky archipelago consists of 39 islands from which 24 are populated.
Flora and fauna
Vegetation of Greece is very various and changes depending on height above sea level. From coastal areas up to the height about 460 m the olive tree, orange, a date palm tree, pomegranate, a fig, cotton, tobacco grow. From 120 to 460 m grow the evergreen and deciduous forests – an oak, a black fir-tree, nut, a beech, a poison ivy. Above coniferous forests and such wild flowers as anemones and cyclamens grow in the basic.
The wild boar, the European bear, lynx, jackal, deer, fox, chamois, marten are distinguished from representatives of fauna. Among birds – a hawk, a pelican, a pheasant, a partridge, a nightingale, a stork, a heron, a turtle-dove. Climate. The climate of Greece is various: Mediterranean in coastal areas, continental – in internal, mountain – in mountainous. Average annual temperature in coastal areas of Attica + 17 C. The hottest time: June – September. The hottest month – July (cf. temperature +27 C) the velvet season – April, May, October. Average water temperature from May to October + 20-+25C. Greece has strong reputation of the country of the developed international tourism. Annually the country accepts 10 million tourists appreciating favorable climatic, the historian – cultural, tourist and service advantages of the country. Abundance of a sunlight, the clean and warm sea, beautiful beaches abundance of vegetables and fruit – all this does Greece extremely attractive to rest.
Climate in the country Mediterranean: it means that the summer happens hot and dry, and winter – warm, but rainy. Average annual temperature in Athens about 17 °C. The coldest month in Athens – January (9 °C), the hottest – July (on average 27 °C). Frosts in the country are extremely rare, however tops of mountains are covered with snow in the winter. Sometimes to Greece come to ski. However, during this time only several hotels which are a little adapted for winter therefore tourists should be warmed by well-known Metaxa, anisette” Ouzo” or the Greek wines, surprising on taste, are open.
The best tourist season in Greece – from May to June. During this period the sea gets warm to 18 – 20 degrees, the nature in bloom.
In July – August in the southern and central Greece air temperature sometimes rises to 45 °C. In the north is slightly more cool, sometimes there is intermittent rain which brings pleasant freshness.
In September – the velvet season. Tourist boom behind. The warm sea and warm air, quiet beaches and thin restaurants dispose to quiet rest.
In the capital there is great variety of the museums which you by all means have to visit: national archaeological museum, Byzantine museum, Benaki’s museum; Alexander Sutzos, uzy Akropolis’s museum.
Treat sights of Athens also: national art gallery and Akropolis with numerous antique temples.
In Olympia Va you can visit the old archaeological museum which represents the largest collection of Ancient Greek geometrical and archaic exhibits in the world.
In Rhodes you have an opportunity to see the palace of Great masters of knights of an award of St. Ioann Iyerusalimsky, and also a wreck of antique Rhodes founded in 408 B.C. In him there was the well-known statue of the Colossus of Rhodes which is considered one of wonders of the world.
Several Greek and Armenian churches can be interesting to tourists in Heraklion.
In Candia there is an archaeological museum which contains a magnificent collection of objects of art of an era of the Minoan civilization. Visitors are usually invited to visit ruins of the city of Knossos where, according to the legend, there was the well-known Labyrinth with the Minotaur.
Thessaloniki – the city where the St. apostle Pavel preached. Strike with the beauty architectural city monuments: set of buildings of the Byzantine era; St. Elena’s basilica; St. Georgy’s church with mosaic icons and the White (Bloody) tower.
Treat other sights of Greece: the Venetian strength is 16th a century in Corfu; Akhillio palace (19th century); ancient cities of Delphi and Mycenae; monasteries Meteors on rocks of the Meteor in Thessaly; The Athos monastery in Athos. Besides, the following entertainments and excursions are also offered: diving (with training), walks by a ship to rocky gulfs to ancient monasteries (one-day and half-day), fishings on islands and bathings in the gulf, a barbecue on the beach (for all day), horse walks to mountains (gorges, mountain small villages about tavernamiya, monasteries), bicycle walks, visit of the island Santorini, visit of the palm gulf (where the well-known advertizing ‘Baunti’), foot walks on the ancient cities of Hanya and Retimno, motor rallies on mountain roads and gorges to mountain traditional Cretan small villages, visit of a potter’s workshop and tasting of the real Cretan wine (for all day was removed), traditional Cretan evening in a tavern of a mountain small village with dances and a dinner, visit of aquaparks.
Political dissociation of Greece was a consequence of the geographical features of the Balkan peninsula (the valley divided by mountains) generating the closed and isolated way of life shown in unique character of the gifted people. After 1000 resettlement the doriyskikh of tribes to the south of Peloponnese has come to the end BC. After that there was a political map of the Greek world which has existed before inclusion of Greeks in the Roman Empire. The small fertile valleys with convenient bays divided by mountains on the peninsula and the coast of Asia Minor and numerous islands of the Aegean Sea created ideal conditions for emergence multiple small, within a community, the states (policies) with the city as the center created around the fortress (acropolis) and a sanctuary. The political community was preceded by a community cultural. Greeks distinguished language relationship, despite existence of dialects (Ionic and attic, doriysky, eolian), and also the general cult of gods and ancient the arch it is general the Greek myths. Greeks long since worshipped “the lord of heaven” Zeus (in his honor each four years in a sanctuary in Olympia on Peloponnese were held the cult games which are been the basis for chronology), and also other Olympic god, for example to Apollo whose oracle they in Delphi addressed at a difficult moment. Along with it each city honored also more ancient local gods.
The lack of the earth has forced the majority of policies to develop trade in local production (oil, wine), and then and craft hand-made articles: ceramics, products from metals. Contacts with overseas neighbors, at first have been come with Phoenicians whom Greeks borrowed the alphabet which has become a basis of the Latin alphabet.
Because of overpopulation of the cities and expansion of commercial relations Greeks have begun to found settlements on new territories. With VIII povi century BC their colonies have appeared in those corners of the Mediterranean where even Phoenicians didn’t get: in Northern Black Sea Coast, Libya, in Great Greece (The southern Italy and Sicily), and also on the modern French Mediterranean coast.
Over time Sparta and Athens became the main political centers of Greece. In the state of Athenians covering all Attica there was a democratic control system: citizens carried out the power through people’s assembly, jury and the elected officials. Sparta kept arkhaistichesky foundations, ancient institute of the imperial power (elected two tsars). Tsars possessed the real power only in the years of war, in the rest of the time the country the Council of Elders (gerussiya) and chosen for a year five observers (efor) operated. Spartiata constantly were engaged in military exercises therefore Sparta has turned into the state with the strongest army seeking for hegemony in Greece. However in the 5th century BC the overweight was temporarily on side of Athens.
The highest influence in Greece of Athena was reached in wars with Persia, having crushed enemies in several fights (the Marathon 490 BC and at Salamin has 480 g BC), and also thanks to release of the Ionic cities of Asia Minor by Athens from the power of Persia. During the Persian wars of Athena have constructed the fleet which has become to one of the strongest in Greece. Fifty years which have undergone later fights at the lake Salamin prior to the Peloponnesian war have been marked by the highest cultural blossoming of Athens of a classical era, extensive construction (the Acropolis construction) has been developed. Trade, crafts, agriculture prospered. Blossoming of cultural life (the tragedy, the comedy, philosophy, a historiography, oratory) falls on this period so Athens for a long time became the center of the Mediterranean culture.
Rivalry between two largest Greek states has developed into the Peloponnesian war (431-421. 415-404 BC) which has ended with defeat of Athens and establishment of hegemony of Sparta. Thebes, the largest policy in Boeotia, repeatedly won against Spartans. In Thebes, as the hostage, there lived future Macedonian tsar Philip II. Having come to the power in 359 BC, he has acquainted Macedonians with achievements of the Greek military art and has united small semi-independent principalities in the uniform state. Philipp has intruded in Northern Greece and on islands of the Aegean Sea, having provoked the conflict with the Greek states, and in 338 BC became predominant force of Greece, having announced a campaign of all Greeks against the weakened Persia.
The son and Philip II’s successor Alexander III called by Mayekdonsky wanted to strengthen an edinolichna the power and to expand the domination. After strengthening of northern borders of Macedonia and stabilization of the Macedonian hegemony in the shattered Greece in 334 BC Alexander has gone to Asia Minor, for 4 years has subordinated to himself the Persian Empire and, having made campaigns in 329 g BC to Central Asia, and in 325 g BC – to India, has expanded borders of the empire from Danube to Indus, but his army has refused to go further. He managed to connect in a single whole the Greek-Macedonian and Persian nobility (a mass wedding of 10 000 Macedonians and Greeks to thoroughbred Persians in Susa in 324 g BC) and on this basis the Greek and east cultures. When in 323 g BC Alexander has died to him there was no worthy successor., who would be able to keep the empire under the uniform power.
The largest Hellenistic states which have broken away from Alexander’s empire were, apart from Macedonia, the empire Ptolemeev in Egypt and the state Selevkidov including Mesopotamia, Persia, Syria, Iran and a part of Central Asia.
The Greek policies have lost the force long ago, and the Greek culture continued to extend in the Hellenistic states in the Mediterranean, Asia, Egypt, Black Sea Coast. Greek was considered as language of educated people, and the Greek science (mathematics, astronomy, medicine and philology) has achieved outstanding results. The largest Alexandria library created by Ptolemaeus in Egypt became one of the centers of the Greek culture. Thanks to Greek the early Christianity which was taking root in the Mediterranean extended more and more widely.
In 168 g BC Rome destroys the Macedonian kingdom and divides him into 4 independent republics. BC defeat of the Achaean union has led 146 g to full submission of Greece to Rome. In the 5th century vandals have seized all Mediterranean. Since the 6th century great migration of Slavs begins, they get on the Balkan peninsula, and from here to Peloponnese and even into Asia Minor. Slavs assimilated the local tribes living here already for one thousand years to them. Greece is a part of Byzantine (Eastern Roman Empire) which has existed till 1453. The Ottoman Empire from 1454 to 1475 has won the remains of the Byzantine possession in Greece (the Greek principalities on Peloponnese and the duchy Athenian) and Asia Minor.
The Greek fighters for freedom have risen against Ottoman domination. The revolt has broken out on March 6, 1821 in the Moldavian principality as there most of all counted on the help to Russia.
On January 1, 1822 the National assembly in Epidaurus has declared independence of Greece and has adopted the constitution (the Epidavrsky organic statute). Up to 1830 the war of independence continues.
Great Britain, France and Russia the London protocol have declared Greece the independent state, of 47500 sq.km with the population of 600 000 inhabitants. The national economy of the new state was at a low level; the shipping company and trade have been concentrated in hands of the Greeks living the abroad.
In 1832 the Greek national assembly has elected Otton’s king from the Bavarian sort Vittelsbakhov, has been deposed as a result of bourgeois revolution in 1862. In 1863 the new king George 1, the new democratic constitution issued 28.11.63 has established the parliamentary republic in Greece.
In 1896 Greece occupies the island of Crete. 10/8/1912 – Greece as a part of the Balkan union has entered the first Balkan war against the Ottoman Empire (till 1913). As a result of the 2nd Balkan war Greece has got a part of Macedonia. With the purpose to expand the possession in the east in 1920 Greece has declared war of Turkey in which it has lost in 1922.
10/28/1940 Italy has begun military operations against Greece. In the spring of 1941 the Greek army has forced out the Italian troops deep into of Albania. 4/6/1941 Germany without declaration of war has attacked Greece. Capitulation on April 21, 1941. The most beautiful Greek women.
The meal in life of Greeks long since takes the important place. For them it both rest, and communication. Besides, they just like to eat well.
In the afternoon all family gathers at dinner, eternal subjects are discussed: policy, economy and affairs. Then all go to sleep, there comes time of a traditional siesta.
In the evening and at night Greeks like to sit in taverns with friends.
In our century of fast artificial nutrition Greece has kept the traditions. Main courses of Greek cuisine – meat, fish, vegetable – prepare from fresh and natural products of local production.
A large number of fruit and vegetables do the Greek dishes various and tasty. As seasonings there are herbs, spices, olive oil, lemon juice, tomatoes.
No feast does without the olives loved by Greeks, cheese feta and, of course, wines.
But it is better to try once, than to read several times. For daredevils and fans of experiments we provide the catalog of Greek cuisine with recipes of the most popular dishes. And that who is going to visit Greece in the nearest future we suggest to get acquainted with Greek cuisine and in advance to make the menu. We provide not only the description, but also the average prices in the catalog. And also we invite all in the Greek taverns and restaurants located in Russia.
In Athens and across all Attica, and also in the north of the peninsula and on islands at your service there is a set of luxurious restaurants with international and Greek cuisine, and also numerous taverns and shashlik houses. Business hours: 12:00-16:00 and from 20:00 till 24:00, and some – to 2 o’clock in the morning.
In various small taverns and bars will offer you: tasty snack, cup of coffee, ‘sweet’ or ‘moderate’, house specialties of this region, or liqueur glass ‘crayfish’ (grape vodka).
For example, for the island of Crete, house specialties are: yogurt with honey, (puff cheese pies and ‘horta’ – wild greens), pies with a vegetable stuffing, ‘staka’ (a dairy skin), a rabbit ‘ (stewed with onions), ‘cake on-sfakiyski’ (a peculiar pizza of the area Sfakya), snails, boiled goat meat. In the menu of coastal taverns – fish, sea hedgehogs, octopuses and cuttlefishes, fried on coals, and fried squids. And everywhere – nice to the taste Cretan wine. And in houses to prepare Cretan, pyshashchy heat pilaf.
From the products, vegetables and fruit made on fertile plains in greenhouses and in mountainous areas of Greece exotic avocados, a kiwi and bananas, juicy oranges and fragrant melons, a sweet fig and tasty fruits of a prickly pear, grapes, juicy tomatoes, gentle cucumbers, wild greens (‘horta’), snails (‘Ukrainian’), appetizing bull-calves and a herring, perfect lobsters, a young goat’s meat, traditional sausages, the smelling sweet timyany honey and high-quality cheeses-gravyera, a mizitra, антотирос, Melaka and the well-known staka (a dairy skin) enjoy popularity. In Piraeus it is possible to try exotic snack from fish and other inhabitants of sea depths.
The cost of a lunch or dinner (without the cost of drinks) costs, for example, on the island Rhodes about € from 7 to 20).
The population of the country makes about 10,4 million people, average population density about 80 people on sq.km. In the largest cities: Athens (748 thousand people), Thessaloniki (378 thousand people), Peloponnese (155 thousand people), Piraeus (170 thousand people), Heraklion (117 thousand people), Larisa (113 thousand people). Ethnic groups: Greeks – 98%, Turks – 1%, Albanians, Armenians, Walaha. Average life expectancy (for 1992): 75 years – men, 80 years – women. Birth rate level (on 1000 people) – II. Death rate (on 1000 people) – 9. In everyday life Greeks prefer convenient and practical clothes without special delicacy and to people in shorts and slippers on streets and, even in the museums, belong liberally. However it is necessary to remember that at visit of monasteries there is a tough rule: to appear there to men in shorts and undershirts, and to women in trousers or miniskirts it is strictly forbidden. In many monasteries before an entrance there is a room where long skirts for women, and spacious wide trousers for men hang. In Greece tip is accepted though, as a rule, the service charges are already included in the account, nevertheless tip is considered as the rule of good form.
Greek is a state language of Greece and Cyprus. On him more than ten million people speak. Modern Greek concerns to the Balkan group of languages. And considerably differs from Ancient Greek language in which great Homer and Sophocles, Euripides and Aristophanes created.
Throughout many centuries Greek underwent big changes: changed phonetic system, the grammatical system became simpler, the spelling became simpler.
The beginning of formation of modern Greek language belongs to the 15th century. And already at the end of XVIII and at the beginning of the 19th centuries not only spoke the people modern Greek language, but also fine literary works are created. Modern Greek language becomes nation language. In modern Greek owing to many historical reasons such phenomenon as existence of the national dimotik language and the archaized book kafarevusa language is observed. Dimotika represents a living daily spoken language in which teaching at schools is conducted, modern fiction is created. On a dimotika many newspapers and magazines are issued.
Kafarevusa is used mainly in scientific literature, in the official periodical press and by drawing up government decrees and resolutions. On a kafarevus lectures in higher educational institutions are given.
For communication with tourists English is used.
Under the Constitution of 1975 Greece – the presidential parliamentary republic. The head of state is the president elected by parliament for 5 years. The legislature belongs to the president and the unicameral parliament consisting of 300 deputies elected for a period of 4 years general, direct and ballot. Executive power is carried out by the president and the government headed by the prime minister.
Administratively the country is divided into 52 districts.
From the point of view of religion, 98 percent of Greeks – Christians of autocephalous Greek-orthodox church. A head of the Greek church is the archbishop Athenian. Churches of Crete, the island of Dodecanese and the monastic republic Athos (on the peninsula Chalkidiki) have the special status: they are subordinated to Patriarchy in Constantinople.
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