Athens is the capital and largest city of Greece. The city is also the southernmost capital on the European mainland. It dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, with its recorded history spanning around 3,400 years. Classical Athens, as a landlocked location, was a powerful city-state that emerged in conjunction with the seagoing development of the port of Piraeus. A centre for the arts, learning and philosophy, home of Plato's Academy and Aristotle's Lyceum, it is widely referred to as the cradle of Western civilization and the birthplace of democracy. The heritage of the classical era is still evident in the city, represented by ancient monuments and works of art, the most famous of all being the Parthenon, considered a key landmark of early Western civilization. The city also retains Roman and Byzantine monuments, as well as a smaller number of Ottoman monuments. Today a cosmopolitan metropolis, modern Athens is central to economic, financial, industrial, political and cultural life in Greece.
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