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The habitation of Greek space is lost in the mists of time and first appeared in the cave Petralona during the Paleolithic era. The first organized settlement dates to the Neolithic era as testified by the archaeological findings in Magnesia (Dimini, Sesklo) and Kastoria (Dispilio). At the Bronze Age (3500 -1050 BC) were built the first organized cities located in various places. The ancient city Poliochni at Lemnos island is the first city in Europe. At the South flourishes the brilliant Cycladic culture at the islands of Santorini, Milos and Keros. In 2000 BC flourished the Minoan civilization in Crete with the magnificent palaces of Knossos, Malia and Phaistos.

 

The eruption of Santorini volcano in 1650 BC in conjunction with the arrival of new tribes contributed to the total destruction of the Minoan civilization. The next years, the reigns of culture are transferred to mainland Greece and specifically to the Peloponnese. This is the Mycenaean civilization centered on Mycenae, Tiryns and Pylos. The major event of the season is undoubtedly the Trojan War.

 

The Geometric period (1050-700 BC) is characterized by the decline of the Mycenaean civilization, the Dorian invasion, the creation of the Greek alphabet, the introduction to the Olympic Games and the establishment of Greek cities on the coast of Asia Minor, the Black Sea and the Western Mediterranean. During the Archaic period Greece was consisted of a mosaic of small independent states with a strong center city. This form of organization was named city-state and run by a group of aristocrats.

 

The classical era is the most significant period of Greece where important things occurred such as the triumphs of the Greeks against the Persians, the foundation of democracy in Athens, the architectural masterpieces of the Acropolis, the flourishing of the theater and the scientific research. The civil war that broke out between Athens and Sparta (Peloponnesian War) led to the brief rule of the Spartans and the decline of the classical era. At the end of the 4th century BC the powerful kingdom of Macedonia closes the chapter of the city-state and opens the glorious chapter of Alexander the Great. The grand campaign of the young commander against the Persians leads the Greeks into the interior of Asia reaching today's India. The quick death of Alexander the Great divided the empire into smaller kingdoms which conquered by Rome.

 

From the 4th century AD the Greek world was part of the Byzantine Empire based in Constantinople. At this period was strongly developed the Byzantine art with impressive churches throughout the country. Over the centuries the Greek peninsula suffered repeated invasions by Goths, Huns, Slavs, Arabs, Bulgarians and Normans. After the fall of Constantinople in 1453, the Greek space was occupied by the Turks but also areas were maintained by the Franks and Venetians. In 1821 the Greek Revolution led to the gradual liberation of Greece and the establishment of the Greek State. Major events in modern Greek history were the Asia Minor disaster in 1922 and the Greek Epic of Greek army in the mountains of Pindus against the Italians during the Second World War.