25 Facts About Greece You May Not Know

1. Greece is regarded as the cradle of Western civilization, the birthplace of democracy, Western philosophy, the Olympic Games, Western literature, political science, historiography, philosophy, mythology, drama (including comedy and tragedy), and much more! 


2. With more than 3,400 years of recorded history, Athens, the capital of Greece, is among the oldest cities in the world.

3. No other country in the world has more archaeological museums per capita than Greece.

4. Of the 6000 Greek islands that make up Greece, 227 are inhabited. 

5. Greece is among the sunniest countries in the world, with over 250 days of sunshine annually, 3,000 sunny hours.

6. Mount Olympus, the tallest mountain in Greece, was considered by ancient Greeks as the home of Zeus and the other gods.

7. Olive oil plays a major role in Greek cooking, and ancient Olympic competitors were crowned with olive wreaths, demonstrating Greece’s strong historical and cultural ties to the olive tree.

8. Cleisthenes, the Ancient Greek Athenian lawmaker created the idea of democracy in Athens, between 508 and 507 BC.

9. The Greek language is one of the world’s oldest written languages and one of the oldest languages still in use today, having been spoken for over 3,000 years. Over 50,000 English words are derived from modern Greek.

10. Greece is the world’s top producer of marine sponges. Especially on the Greek island of Kalymnos.

11. The motto of the Greek War of Independence, “Eleftheria i Thanatos” (Freedom or Death), is represented by nine (5 blue and 4 white) stripes on the Greek flag.

12. Only certain regions of Greece may produce the national cheese, feta, which accounts for 70% of Greece’s cheese consumption, under the name “feta”.

13. The Greek island of Ikaria is one of the world’s Blue Zones where people live the longest. Its residents are known for living to over 100. See more on Ikaria

14. The Antikythera mechanism, the earliest analogue computer known to science, was found in a shipwreck off the Greek island of Antikythera. Eclipses and astronomical positions were predicted with its help.

15. Greece has the world’s largest commerce fleet in terms of tons and a long history of maritime tradition.

16. Of the many gods and goddesses worshipped by the Ancient Greeks, around twelve were regarded as the main deities and lived atop Mount Olympus.

17. Western theatre has its roots in classical Greek theatre that began in Athens.

18. Around 1600 BC, the most Instagrammed ever Santorini island that is famous for its breathtaking sunsets and whitewashed buildings was the location of one of the greatest volcanic eruptions ever recorded.

19. The Olympic Games were first staged in Olympia, Greece, in 776 BC as a celebration of Zeus. In Athens, Greece, they were brought back to life in the modern period in 1896. They have only been hosted once since then in Athens 2004. 

20. Socrates, the Greek philosopher, is credited with founding Western philosophy. He played a crucial role, yet he never recorded any of his lectures.

21. “Greece” was given its name by the Romans. We Greeks refer to our country as “Ellada” or “Hellas” and refer to ourselves as “Hellenes”.

22. Greece is the top ship owning country in the world, as Greek shipowners with 5,514 ships currently control approximately 21% of the global fleet capacity.

23. The oldest olive tree in the world can be found in Greece on Crete island in Ano Vouves. It is over 3000 years old and still produces olives.

24. The Hippocratic oath is the medical ethical code attributed to the Greek physician Hippocrates. The oath has been employed by the medical community worldwide as a code of conduct and is still used at medical school graduation ceremonies. 

25. Santorini island is ranked 9th and Mykonos is ranked 12th in the world’s 50 most Instagrammed islands in the world.

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