Pirée (in Greek old Ὀ Πειραιεύς / Pireéfs , in Greek modern Ο Πειραιάς / Pireás ) is the main thing port of Athens. It is also the first port and the principal industrial center of Greece. It is the starting point of the travellers towards the islands of the Aegean Sea.
Pirée was in the beginning an island, separated from the continent by the marshes of Halipédon.
It was not the first wearing of Athens. One preferred to him a long time the roads of Phalère, visible from Athens, contrary to Pirée.
The first to be been interested in Pirée was Hippias which strengthened Mounychie.
Thémistocle at the time of sound archontat (493 - 492), to offer to the Athenian fleet (200 trirèmes) a place of damping (stranding) surer than the roads of Phalère, started the construction of the Long Walls. They were just completed at the beginning of the Peloponnesian War. The fortifications were demolished by the Spartiate Lysandre in 404, at the end of the Peloponnesian War, then replaced in 393 by the Athenian admiral Conon.
Thémistocle, founder of the economy of PiréeWith the volume V of The Cambridge Ancient History , one can read on responsible Thémistocle It was him who was for the new naval bases At the Piraeus, without wich her maritime hegemony could not cuts been maintained . It is indeed in Thémistocle that one owes the choice of the site of Pirée to install the new wearing of Athens, following the discovery of new layers in the mines of Laurion, Athens indeed has the means of carrying out great work of fortifications and of maritime construction and Thémistocle persuades the assembly to resolve these funds in order to make of Athens a maritime power. To book II of the Peloponnesian War , Thucydide explains us why Thémistocle (…) found the place fortunately formed with its three natural ports and thought that themselves become sailors, they would be on the good way to acquire power. Also in 493 at the time of the first archontat of Thémistocle work in Pirée start and equip it with shipyards. These are the shipyards which allow the construction of an enough important fleet to beat Persians with the Bataille of Salamine in 480. This victory persuades the Athenians of the utility of a maritime power, the town of Athens having been destroyed by Persians, they get busy to rebuild it by strengthening it and make some in the same way for Pirée which somewhat also suffered from the Persian invasion
These fortifications worry the allied cities of Athens, Sparte initially, which fears to see there the beginnings of a very important rival for his hegemony. As Sparte tries by all the diplomatic means possible to prevent the fortification of Pirée, while asserting as in the event of successful invasion of Persians, that would get to them an impregnable place in Attique. But Thémistocle goes to Sparte to reassure them and decides to rebuild the fortifications of Pirée destroyed by Persians while following a vaster model; the walls of Pirée make 60 stages of circumference and Thémistocle orders that they are set up rather high and rather broad so that they can be defended by the most inapt men (invalids, old men) whereas the remainder of the soldiers would embark on trières. These walls had, us says Thucydide to book I, 93 of its work, a width such as two tanks could cross face there.
The fortification of Pirée in fact an impregnable military place, and consequently a sure commercial port since the merchants are not afraid to store their food products there. Also these fortifications go hand in hand with a development of this port. Phalère is abandoned with the profit of Pirée, larger, strengthened better and articulating itself with the foot of hills allowing a good monitoring. Thémistocle is thus the first to have seized the importance of Pirée, first of all to build a significant fleet in the event of new Persian invasion but also to stimulate the trade and to make of Athens a protected maritime power good. But its most ambitious project, the long walls connecting Athens to Pirée, was carried out only after its Ostracisme in 471, having been shown of médiser.
Golden age to the fall
The beginnings of the traditional period constitute the golden age of Pirée which acquires a hegemony on the Greek trade, and this with the detriment of the other ports like Chalcis, Erétrie, Egine or Corinthe which is nevertheless the only port to succeed in being maintained about. Also starting from 451, the city of Pirée it is entirely rebuilt on a vast architectural level by Hippodamos, the warehouses and arsenals are increased and the city obtains with temples and more basins. Pirée appears then as a key of Athenian rise since it confers safety, economic prosperity to him and commercial like naval power without equal. Alone, the incomes of Pirée coupled to those of the mines of Laurion constitute then more than 65% of the budget of the Athenian State, the development of navigation compensating for the poverty of the ground of the Attic. Pirée also approaches Athens insofar as its inhabitants take share with the Athenian democracy more and more, since the democratic tradition is very anchored to Pirée. Lastly, the long walls built between 461 and 456 and which connect Pirée to Athens according to a double wall of approximately 6 kilometers complete to protect the city and confer either only defensive virtues but also an aggressive potential to him. The importance of these long walls feels well with book I of the Peloponnesian War since Thucydide teaches us that Thémistocle thought that Pirée had more utility than the high city and often repeated with the Athenians, if ever they yielded to an attacker on ground, to gain the port and, with their fleet, to face.
In spite of this idyllic table, this golden age touches at its end in the middle of V° century, indeed the fortifications of Pirée already attracted the mistrust of Lacédémoniens and the other Greek ports (Mégare and Corinthe in particular) suffered much from the hegemony of Pirée. Also the reasons of the Peloponnesian War are primarily economic, Sparte does not have any evil to convince the cities having suffered from the Athenian expansion to join it to make the war in Athens. The effort of war causes in Pirée the ruin of several tradesmen, the buildings and the ships being requisitioned and the trade falling with the profit of the military expenditure. The raids lacédémoniens on the territory of the Attic lead Périclès to gather the population in the Athenian walls, which thus extend now on small ten kilometers, thus taking the advice of Thémistocle. However, the walls of Pirée as well as the city were not studied to accommodate a so great number of people, thus the populations pile up, and find refuge in the temples, under the gantries… This situation is favourable with the propagation of a disease, the plague makes devastations later one year in the population, supported by quasi the absence of sewers in Pirée like by the weak and absence water conveyance of fountain. To book II, 48, Thucydide explains us why Athens was seen struck abruptly, and it was initially in Pirée that people were touched; they even claimed that Péloponnésiens had poisoned the wells (because there were no yet fountains at this place). Then it reached the high city and consequently the number of deaths was much larger. The plague, which was right of Périclès and its two sons, is a fatal blow carried in Pirée which then passes through an economic crisis and commercial without precedents. The disaster of Sicily in 415 completes this crisis by depriving the Athenians of a great number of ships.
Pirée has a very anchored democratic tradition. Thus at the time of the mode of the 400 in 411, they are the soldiers of the port who link themselves and seize Pirée after a civil war carried out in the streets. But that does not prevent Lacédémoniens from carrying the fatal blow in Pirée, when after the victorious head office of Athens, they require that the long walls and the fortifications of Athens and Pirée be shaven. The blow is all the more hard for the inhabitants of Pirée who see their destroyed trade that Lysandre orders that this destruction is made with the sound flutes, like a festival. Athens, déchue, are again victim of an oligarchical revolution and installation of the mode of the Thirty, which is baited particularly on Pirée, hearth of the revolution against the mode of the 400. This eagerness contributes to a new democratic revolt at winter 404, always leaving Pirée and carried out by Thrasybule, which succeeds in taking Pirée and resisting the attacks of the soldiers of the Thirty. Even if the hoplites Spartans manage to overcome them following a real military demonstration, the democracy were restored one year later, in 403.
Pirée comprised 3 ports, Zéa and Munichie with the east, all both used for the warships, and the large port of Canthare in the west. This last became a flourishing market. The population of the city was besides mainly made up of wogs who made port a city commercial and cosmopolitan, where the foreign Gods cotoyaient the Gods grecs.
These three ports were narrowed by moles and were strengthened. They could be closed by chains tended to their entrée.
A new city was organized gradually around Pirée with a checkerboard plan conceived by the architect Hippodamos de Milet, in the middle of fifth century BC.
It is of Pirée that Thrasybule restores the democracy in Athens, by driving out the government of the Thirty, cut off in the fortress from Mounychie.
This fortress was occupied thereafter by a garrison Macedonian, then Roman.
The Roman general Sylla besieged Pirée and destroyed then the city in 87 - 86. Strabon known as besides that the city is only one poor wretch village. It would seem that it is become again a flourishing shopping mall at the time impériale.
Constantin still used the port for its fleet of war. The raid of Alaric Ier in 396 gave the blow of thanks to the city.
The Middle Ages and Othoman dominationIn 1040, the Varègue Harald Hardraada came to repress an Athenian insurrection. It unloaded in Pirée, named then Oporto Leone or Oporto Draco . This name had been given to him because of the statue of lion (or lioness), perhaps originating in Délos which was at the end of the headland of Alkimos. A reproduction is still visible nowadays. It was on this statue that Harald Hardraada engraved Rune S.
At the time contemporary
Mounychie found its importance of fortress at the time of the Guerre of Greek independence. It was from there that in 1827 the column left support for the Greeks besieged in the Acropolis Athens. This forwarding, directed by Sir Richard Church failed in his attempt. Yeóryios Karaïskákis lost the life there. The Gordon General then succeeds in holding Mounychie from February in May 1827.
Pirée was selected in 1834 to shelter the site of the new port of Athens.
The city counted 300 inhabitants in 1836. Chateaubriand had seen only one small house of customs officer there. There Pirée was then repopulated by inhabitants of the islands come to seek a emploi.
In 1850, the the United Kingdom of Palmerston proceeded to the blockade of the port because of the incident Don Pacifico. The United Kingdom, this time accompanied by the French fleet proceeded to a new blockade between 1854 and 1857, because of the foreign policy and the debts of Greece, as well as Crimean War.
Pirée had 11.000 inhabitants in 1869 and 50000 in 1895. The city exploded with the " Large Catastrophe" : the exchange of population with Turkey following the Treated of Lausanne in 1923. The number of inhabitants in Pirée was multiplied by three.
The April 6th 1941, day of the German attack on Greece at the time of the Second world war, German aviation bombarded the port and ran 11 warships, especially the Clan Fraser which transported 200 tons of TNT which exploded with two close transport of ammunition, causing immense damage.
The alderman of the east city currently (2007) Vicky Leandros and the mayor is Panayótis Fasoúlas, former basketball player, a long time player of Olympiakos and champion of Europe in 1987 with the national team of Greece.
PortsPirée comprises 3 ports, of is in west: Mounychie ( Tourkolimano or Microlimano ), Zéa ( Pashalimani ) and Kantharos ( Megas Limin ) large the port.
It is of the latter that the ferries for the islands leave. Zéa is the port of the yachts and the service for the argo-saronic islands.
The first recognition of Pirée by Athens takes place into 507; the reforms of Clisthène set it up in dème what will make it possible the city of Pirée to start to develop. But this Athenian recognition is not yet harbor, it relates to only the city even which started to develop in Pirée. The true turning will come with Thémistocle, but will see we it more in detail in the second part. Once taken the decision to make of Pirée the wearing of Athens, this exceptional natural site which until had been disparaged there can be arranged. This site indeed comprises three natural ports, which will be used by more the Greek great architects to give the three ports of Zéa, Munychie and Kantharos. These ports are primarily soldiers and commercial and will be strengthened under Thémistocle in order to make an impregnable place of it. These are indeed what is called `closed ports' i.e. that turns of duty being at each end of the dams (on which the headlights intended were to guide the boats) were connected between them by chains what prevented the ships of returning without authorization and thus warned Pirée of any attack. The port of Zéa, largest of the three was only soldier and included/understood shipyards. It was the first with being strengthened, and it had was able to accommodate 196 trières, in some 40 meters length cabins on 6.5 meters broad. The purpose of the port of Kantharos is the second larger port of Pirée, it is to also primarily assist that of Zéa by devoting him to military activities; it includes/understands arsenals and shipyards and can accommodate 94 trières in cabins of the same size as those of the port of Zéa. Lastly, the last of these ports, that of Munyche, is certainly smallest but is very important insofar as it is him which manages the majority of the marketing activities of Pirée. It includes/understands 600 meters of quays and 82 cabins, smaller than those of the other ports and is located at the foot of the hill of Munyche. It is in this port that the warehouses, the markets and the administrative buildings intended are to regulate the commercial life.
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SportsOlympiakos is the general sports club of the city. The section football is the club more titrated country.
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