Athens is a historical capital of Europe and since the Neolithic age has never ceased to be inhabited. During this long period, the apex of its fascinating history came in the fifth century BC (the "Golden Century" of Pericles), when its achievements and its culture overcame the geographical boundaries of the city and acquired a universal spread. The political ideas, theatre, arts, philosophy, science, architecture and many other manifestations of the human intellect, reached their peak of significance in a unique moment in the history of all time. In this way Athens was the matrix of western civilization. In addition, many Greek words and concepts such as democracy, harmony, music, mathematics, technology, food, eros, architecture, logic, euphoria, and hundreds more have enriched many languages and inspired many different cultures.
Over the centuries, the city experienced several occupations, which left their mark in monuments of beauty and attractiveness. In 1834, it was proclaimed to be a capital of the new Greek state, basically for the resonance of its classic past, but during the next two centuries, it was transformed into a modern metropolitan centre of unparalleled charm and interest.
The population continued to grow, and especially after 1922, exiles from Asia Minor arrived en masse, marking a period of anarchist development. The city, which had 450,000 inhabitants, suddenly had to accommodate 150,000 others. Athens has again become a "megalopolis."