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Piraeus, Greece

Piraeus has been the port of Athens since antiquity. If you stand on the Acropolis and look towards the sea you can see two parallel lines going southwest from Athens. The line on the left are the tracks of the original Athens electric train, now part of the metro. The line on the right is Pireos Street. But in ancient times these lines were the long walls built by Cimon and Pericles that led from Athens to Piraeus. Torn down by the Spartans after they finally defeated the Athenians in 404 bc at the end of the 30 year long Peloponnesian War, their destruction made Athens and Piraeus indefensible and ended Athenian naval power and the Delian league. The walls, 8 kilometers long, were rebuilt in 393 during the return of Greek Democracy after the fall of the 30 Tyrants and Piraeus was rebuilt during the reign of Alexander the Great. But the city was totally destroyed by the Romans in 86 bc and by the Goths in 395 ad.

Pireaus was used by the Venetians and known as Porto Leone for the giant marble statue of a lion at the portís entrance which was later removed and taken to the Arsenal in Venice where it still stands. But during the Ottoman period the port was barely used and it was not until the birth of the modern Greek state in 1821 and the moving of the capital from Nafplio to Athens in 1832 that Porto Leone, or Porto Drako (Dragon Port) as the locals called it, became a municipality with its ancient name. Piraeus was reborn and as people moved here from the islands and Asia Minor it became the primary port of Greece and one of the most important ports in the Mediterranean. With a population of about a half a million Piraeus is the 5th largest city in Greece, a major center of sea commerce as well as having some of the best restaurants in the greater Athens area, not to mention bars, cafes, clubs, theaters, Archaeological sites and museums. And of course, this is where you take the ferries to the Greek Islands.

Greek Ferry in Pireaus
Ferry Boat Information

Piraeus Hotels
Hotels in Pireaus

Zea harbor, Piraeus
A Walk in Pireaus

Greek seafood
Eating Seafood in Pireaus

Aegina Ferry, Piraeus
Lesson 1: Going to an Island

Faliron, Athens
Athens Coast

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