Sparta (modern)

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For the mythical children of Ares, see Spartoí.
Sparta
Σπάρτη
Spárti
The centre of the city
The centre of the city
Location
Sparta is located in Greece
Sparta
Sparta
Coordinates 37°4′N 22°26′E / 37.067°N 22.433°E / 37.067; 22.433Coordinates: 37°4′N 22°26′E / 37.067°N 22.433°E / 37.067; 22.433
Government
Country: Greece
Administrative region: Peloponnese
Regional unit: Laconia
Mayor: Stavros Argeitakos (as of 2012)
Population statistics (as of 2011)[1]
Municipality
 - Population: 35,259
 - Area: 1,189.8 km2 (459 sq mi)
 - Density: 30 /km2 (77 /sq mi)
Municipal unit
 - Population: 19,854
 - Area: 84.5 km2 (33 sq mi)
 - Density: 235 /km2 (609 /sq mi)
Community
 - Population: 17,408
Other
Time zone: EET/EEST (UTC+2/3)
Elevation: 210 m ­(689 ft)
Postal code: 231 00
Telephone: 27310
Auto: ΑΚ
Website
www.sparti.gov.gr

Sparta (or Sparti; Greek: Σπάρτη, Spárti) is a municipality of Laconia, Greece. It lies at the site of ancient Sparta. The population in 2001 was 35,259, of whom 17,408 lived in the city itself.

History[edit]

Main articles: Sparta and History of Sparta
Eurotas (river) outside the city of Sparti.
Statue of Leonidas.

Until modern times, the site of ancient Sparta was occupied by a small town of a few thousand people who lived among the ruins, in the shadow of Mystras, a more important medieval Greek settlement nearby. The Palaiologos family (the last Byzantine Greek imperial dynasty) also lived in Mystras. In 1834, after the Greek War of Independence, King Otto of Greece decreed that the town be expanded into a city.

Main sites[edit]

The theater of ancient Sparta with Taygetus in the background.

In the center of the town there is the Archaeological Museum and in the North West end is the Tomb of Leonidas, also known as Leonidaion and there is a tavern in front of the temple named Leonidas. The town's Cathedral is at the South West end. North of the modern town start the ruins of the ancient Sparta. Entering by the South Gate of the Acropolis, known as Lakedaemonia, there is the Rotunda, the Theatre and the Temple of Athena Chalkioikos to the West and to the North is the 10th Century AC Monastic Church of Osios Nikonas. Exiting the Acropolis by the North Gate there are the remains of the earliest ancient walls, the Heroon and the Altar of Lycourgos, whereas to the East there is the Sanctuary of Artemis Orthia.

The Museum of the Olive and Greek Olive Oil in the South West end highlights the culture of the olive and the technology of olive production.

Points of cultural interest[edit]

  • Museum of the Olive and Greek Olive Oil in Sparta at 129 Othonos–Amalias Street [1]
  • Archaeological Museum of Sparta
  • Archaeological Museum of Mystras - Founded by Gabriel Lilianthal in the late 19th century
  • The Manousakeio Museum of urban and folk life [2]
  • Koumantareios Art Gallery of Sparta [3]

Modern city[edit]

Modern Sparti
Street in Sparti

Modern day Sparta, capital of the prefecture of Lakonia, lies on the eastern foothills of Mount Taygetos in the Evrotas River valley. The city has been built upon the site of ancient Sparta. To the southwest stands Mt. Taygetos. To the east of the city stands the Parnonas mountain range, which is forested predominantly with Greek fir trees and other pines.

The origins of modern Sparta date back to October 20, 1834, when King Otto issued a decree on the construction of the new city. Bavarian city planners, headed by Fr. Stauffert, designed a city of 100,000 inhabitants based on the neo-classical architectural model.

Today Sparta maintains its good design, boasting large squares and wide streets lined with trees, while many of the older buildings remain in excellent condition. The city of Sparta is the economic, administrative and cultural center of Lakonia. A key factor in the advancement of the city’s development is the operation of two departments of the University of Peloponnese and a department of the Technological Educational Institute.

Visitors are always highly impressed by the centrally-located main square which is dominated by the most imposing neo-classical building in Sparta, the City Hall. Built in 1909, City Hall bears the signature of the Greek architect, G. Katsaros.[2] During the monarchy (which was abolished by referendum in 1973), the title of Duke of Sparta was used for the Greek crown prince, the διάδοχος (diádokhos).

Climate[edit]

The city of Sparta enjoys a sunny and warm Mediterranean climate. Winters are mild and cool while summers tend to be particularly hot. January mean maximum temperatures are around 14 °C (57 °F) or 15 °C (59 °F) while July mean maximum temperatures are around 36 °C (97 °F). Sparta is notorious for the scorching summer heat and in fact during July 2012 the city registered an average maximum temperature of 38.3 °C (100.9 °F) making it Greece's highest monthly average maximum temperature to date.[3]

Municipality[edit]

The municipality Sparta was formed at the 2011 local government reform by the merger of the following 7 former municipalities, that became municipal units:[4]

Politics[edit]

Living up to its ancient legacy of oligarchic government, Sparta is the most conservative town in Greece. It has never had a left-wing mayor and it was one of the few towns that voted in support of retaining the monarchy in 1974.

As of 2012, the mayor of Sparta is Stavros Argeitakos.[5]

Events[edit]

Spartathlon takes place every September since 1983. It is an ultramarathon starting in Athens and finishing in Sparta, with many international participants.

Historical population[edit]

Year Town Municipal unit Municipality
1961 10,412
1981 12,975
1991 13,011 16,322
2001 14,817 19,567
2011 17,408 19,854 35,259

International relations[edit]

Sparta is twinned with:

References[edit]

  1. ^ Detailed census results 2011 (Greek)
  2. ^ "Modern day Sparta". Retrieved 2013-01-17. 
  3. ^ "N.O.A July 2012 bulletin". Retrieved 2013-01-20. 
  4. ^ Kallikratis law Greece Ministry of Interior (Greek)
  5. ^ "Welcome to Sparta". City of Sparta. Retrieved 2012-07-20. 

External links[edit]