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Piraeus is a city in the periphery of Attica,Greece and within the Athens urban area,located 12 km southwest of its center and upon the Saronic Gulf. According to the 2001 census, Piraeus has a population of 175,697 people within its administrative limits, making it the third largest municipality in Greece and the second within the Greek capital following the municipality of Athens. The Piraeus urban area extends beyond the administrative city limits to the suburban municipalities, with a total population of 466,065.

Piraeus has a long history, which dates back to ancient Greece.The effects of its natural space and geographical place have been critical factors for the configuration of the historical fate of Piraeus. The development of the harbour has been always combined with periods of proportional acme and progress of the city, while in the periods of the harbour's decay the city languished. The city was largely developed in the early 5th century BC,when it was selected to serve as the port city of classical Athens and was transformed into a prototype harbour, concentrating all the import and transit trade of Athens.

The port of Piraeus is the chief port in Greece, the largest passenger port in Europe and the third largest in the world,servicing about 20 million passengers annually.With a throughput of 1.4 million TEUs,Piraeus is placed among the first ten ports in container traffic in Europe and the top container port in Eastern Mediterranean.The city hosted events in both the 1896 and 2004 Summer Olympics held in Athens.

With the creation of the modern Greek state and the proclamation of Athens as the capital in 1832, the port again acquired a reason for existence and growth, and developed into a great commercial and industrial centre populations, mainly from the Aegean Islands,continued arriving to reside in Piraeus. A town plan for Piraeus was also drawn up and approved by King Otto,but it was not completely fulfilled ,as it was revolutionary for its time.Following the establishment of Piraeus as a municipality in 1835 and the petitions from the new prosperous bourgeoisie that was emerging, municipal elections were held to elect a mayor for the city, who was to be Kyriakos Serfiotis from Hydra. Piraeus numbered around 300 inhabitants at the time.

However, the involvement of Greece in World War II came as a major setback to the city's progress. After the war the city began to develop once more, as damage to the port and the city were repaired and new additions took shape after 1955. Piraeus is now the third largest municipality in Greece; the city proper with its suburbs form the Piraeus urban area, which is incorporated in the Athens urban area, thus making Piraeus an integral part of the Greek capital. Furthermore, the port of Piraeus is an important international port and the largest of the country.

How to Reach

By Air

Direct Airport Express buses run 24 hours between the port of Piraeus and Athens International Airport.Allow 90 minutes for the trip.The Airport is also accessible via the Metro,with a connection at Monastiraki.

By Train

Most travellers arriving in Piraeus from Athens make use of the very convenient Metro.Line 1 terminates at the Port,from there it's a short walk to the Saronic Gulf ferries,hydrofoils and catamarans,or a free shuttle-bus ride to the ships sailing to Crete and the Dodecanses.Central Cyclades ferries conveniently sail from just across the metro station and allows unlimited connections on all modes of transport within 90 minutes.

By Bus

Other public buses connect Piraeus with its outlying suburbs,the southern coastal zone and with central Athens.Bus and trolley-bus connects Piraeus within 90 minutes.They must be bought in advance (generally from kiosks or inside metro stations) and validated once on board.

Key places to visit
Hellenic Maritime Museum, Peace and Friendship Stadium, Mount Hymettus, Peloponnesian War, Rabat Archaeological Museum, Municipal theatre of Piraeus, Holy Trinity Church, Piraeus harbour


Places to Visit

Hellenic Maritime Museum

was founded in 1949.It is located at Freatida,near Zea Harbour,in Piraeus.The museum exhibits approximately 2500 items related to the maritime history of Greece since prehistoric times.The exhibits are displayed in chronological order.They include many ship models and a number of paintings from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.The museum admits visitors from Tuesday to Saturday at 09:00-14:00 and on Sunday at 09:30 - 14:00.It is closed on Mondays and on public holidays. Photography in the museum is prohibited.

Peace and Friendship Stadium

Is a multi-use indoor sports arena that is located in Faliro,Piraeus,Athens,Greece.It is the central venue of the Faliro Coastal Zone Olympic Complex and is mostly known for being the long-time home court of the famous Euroleague basketball club Olympiacos Piraeus.In addition to basketball, its multi-purpose main arena is also able to host athletics,gymnastics,volleyball,handball,ice skating,concerts,conventions and exhibitions.

Mount Hymettus

Is a mountain range in the Athens area, East Central Greece.It is also colloquially known as Trellos or Trellovouno (crazy mountain),probably coming from French colonials in the 15th or 16th century, calling the mountain Tres Long.The height is 1,026 m at Evzonas and the length is 16 km (9.9 mi) between Athens and the Saronic Gulf and 6 to 7 km from east to west. In the ancient times,the highest point was known as Mega Ymittos and the southern Elattona and Anydro Ymitto It was noted for its thyme honey.Marble has been quarried since antiquity.

Peloponnesian War

Was an ancient Greek war fought by Athens and its empire against the Peloponnesian League led by Sparta. Historians have traditionally divided the war into three phases.In the first phase, the Archidamian War, Sparta launched repeated invasions of Attica, while Athens took advantage of its naval supremacy to raid the coast of the Peloponnese attempting to suppress signs of unrest in its empire. This period of the war was concluded in 421 BC, with the signing of the Peace of Nicias.The Peloponnesian War continues to fascinate later generations, because of the way it engulfed the Greek world.The insight Thucydides provides into the motivations of its participants is deeper than that which is known about any other war in ancient times.

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