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Greece – Land of Islands

Greece - Land of Islands

Greece – Land of Islands

Greece is surrounded on three sides by seas: to the south is the Mediterranean Sea, to the west is the Ionian Sea, and to the east is the Aegean Sea. More than 2,000 islands in the Ionian and Aegean seas belong to Greece. The islands are divided into the Ionian Islands and the Aegean Islands. The Greek mainland shares borders with Albania, Macedonia, Bulgaria, and Turkey. Its area is 131,940 square kilometers. Its official name is Hellenic Republic.
In ancient times Greece was a center of science, philosophy, and art. In the late 300s Greece became part of the Byzantine Empire. In 1453 the Turkish Ottoman Empire conquered Greece. In 1821 the Greeks began a war of independence. Supported by Great Britain, France, and Russia, Greece declared its independence in 1829.

In the 1900s the country experienced wars and changes of government. Today Greece has become an important member of the European Union.
Ethnic Greeks make up more than 90 percent of the population. There are small numbers of Macedonians, Albanians, Turks, and others. Nearly all people speak modern Greek.
Greece is known for making wine and olive oil from its grapes and olives.
Athens is the capital and the largest city of the country. The city was named for Athena, the ancient Greek goddess of war and wisdom.
The Acropolis is more than 500 feet high. At the top are buildings that were built very long ago. One of them, the famous Parthenon, was built in honor of the goddess Athena. Not too far away is the Theater of Dionysus. Nearby is the Odeum theater, which is now used for the Athens summer festival of music and drama.
Today Constitution Square is the center of the city.
Mount Olympus is the highest peak. It is 2,917 meters high. Zeus, Ares, Athena, and all the other Greek gods and goddesses were said to live on Mount Olympus.
The Olympic Games began 3,500 years ago in Greece and the first modern Olympic Games were held in Athens in 1896. In 2004 Athens hosted the Summer Olympics.

Greece – Land of Islands

Art of Ancient Greece