Greece Encyclopedia

Greece is located in southeastern Europe, bordered by Albania, North Macedonia, Bulgaria, and Turkey. It is located at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa, with the Aegean, Ionian, and Mediterranean Seas surrounding its mainland and numerous islands.

Geography

Climate:

Greece has a Mediterranean climate, characterized by hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters. The country experiences significant regional variations in climate due to its mountainous terrain and proximity to the sea.

Fauna:

Greece is home to a diverse array of flora and fauna, including various species of mammals, birds, reptiles, and marine life. Common animals found in Greece include deer, wild boar, foxes, and a variety of bird species such as eagles and owls.

Longest Rivers:

Greece’s longest river is the Aliakmonas River, which flows approximately 297 kilometers (185 miles) through northern Greece. Other notable rivers include the Nestos, Evros, and Achelous rivers.

Highest Mountains:

Mount Olympus, located in northern Greece, is the country’s highest mountain, reaching an elevation of 2,917 meters (9,570 feet). It is renowned in Greek mythology as the home of the gods and goddesses.

History

Prehistory:

Greece has a rich prehistoric heritage, with evidence of human habitation dating back to the Paleolithic era. The Cycladic, Minoan, and Mycenaean civilizations flourished during the Bronze Age, laying the foundation for Greek culture and civilization.

Ancient Greece:

Ancient Greece is renowned for its contributions to art, philosophy, literature, democracy, and science. The city-states of Athens, Sparta, and Corinth emerged as centers of culture and power, while philosophers like Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle shaped Western thought.

Classical Period:

The Classical Period of Greek history saw the rise of Alexander the Great and the expansion of Greek influence across the Mediterranean and beyond. Greek city-states formed alliances, waged wars, and established colonies, leaving a lasting legacy on world history.

Byzantine Empire:

Following the decline of the Roman Empire, Greece became part of the Byzantine Empire, which preserved and transmitted Greek culture and Christianity throughout the Middle Ages. Byzantine art, architecture, and theology flourished during this period.

Ottoman Rule:

Greece fell under Ottoman rule in the 15th century and remained part of the Ottoman Empire for nearly four centuries. The struggle for independence culminated in the Greek War of Independence in the early 19th century, leading to the establishment of the modern Greek state.

Modern Age:

Since gaining independence in 1830, Greece has faced periods of political instability, economic challenges, and geopolitical conflicts. However, the country has also experienced periods of growth, cultural revival, and international cooperation, becoming a member of the European Union and NATO.

Demographics

Greece has a population of approximately 10.4 million people, with the majority residing in urban areas along the coast and in major cities such as Athens and Thessaloniki. The population is ethnically homogeneous, with Greeks comprising the vast majority of the population.

Religion:

The Greek Orthodox Church is the predominant religion in Greece, with the majority of the population adhering to the Orthodox Christian faith. Minority religious communities include Muslims, Catholics, and Protestants.

Administrative Divisions

Greece is divided into 13 administrative regions, each with its own regional capital and administrative structure. The administrative divisions of Greece, along with their respective populations, are as follows:

  1. Attica Region – Population: 4.2 million
  2. Central Macedonia Region – Population: Approximately 1.9 million
  3. Thessaly Region – Population: 730,000
  4. Central Greece Region – Population: Approximately 550,000
  5. Peloponnese Region – Population: 1.1 million
  6. North Aegean Region – Population: 570,000
  7. South Aegean Region – Population: 380,000
  8. Crete Region – Population: 630,000
  9. Epirus Region – Population: 340,000
  10. Western Greece Region – Population: Approximately 680,000

10 Largest Cities by Population

The largest cities in Greece by population include:

  1. Athens – Population: 3.1 million
  2. Thessaloniki – Population: 1.1 million
  3. Patras – Population: 213,000
  4. Heraklion – Population: 173,000
  5. Larissa – Population: 162,000
  6. Volos – Population: 145,000
  7. Ioannina – Population: 112,000
  8. Chania – Population: 108,000
  9. Chalcis – Population: 100,000
  10. Serres – Population: 86,000

Education Systems

Education:

Education in Greece is free and compulsory for children between the ages of 5 and 15. The country has a well-established educational system, with a focus on primary, secondary, and tertiary education.

Top Universities:

Some of the top universities in Greece include:

  • National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
  • Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
  • University of Crete
  • University of Patras
  • Athens University of Economics and Business

Transportation

Airports:

Greece has 15 international airports, with the major ones being Athens International Airport, Thessaloniki Airport, and Heraklion International Airport.

Railways:

Greece has a railway network operated by the Hellenic Railways Organization (OSE), with a total length of approximately 2,500 kilometers (1,550 miles).

Highways:

Greece has an extensive network of highways, including the Egnatia Odos, A1, A2, A3, and A8, which connect major cities and regions across the country.

Ports:

Greece has several major ports, including the Port of Piraeus, the Port of Thessaloniki, and the Port of Patras, which serve as important hubs for maritime trade and transportation.

Country Facts

  • Population: 10.4 million
  • Capital: Athens
  • Official Language: Greek
  • Religion: Greek Orthodox Christianity
  • Ethnic Groups: Greek
  • Currency: Euro (EUR)
  • ISO Country Code: GR
  • International Calling Code: +30
  • Top-Level Domain: .gr