The centre of the city
|Mayor:||Stavros Argeitakos (as of 2012)|
|Population statistics (as of 2011)|
|- Area:||1,189.8 km2 (459 sq mi)|
|- Density:||30 /km2 (77 /sq mi)|
|- Area:||84.5 km2 (33 sq mi)|
|- Density:||235 /km2 (609 /sq mi)|
|Time zone:||EET/EEST (UTC+2/3)|
|Elevation:||200 m (656 ft)|
|Postal code:||231 00|
Sparta, officially Sparti (Greek: Σπάρτη, Spártī) is a city in Laconia, Greece. It lies at the site of ancient Sparta. The municipality population in 2011 was 35,259, of whom 17,408 lived in the city itself.
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 should be expanded into a city.
In the center of the city 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 city's Cathedral is at the South West end. North of the modern city 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
- Museum of the Olive and Greek Olive Oil in Sparta at 129 Othonos–Amalias Street 
- 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 
- Koumantareios Art Gallery of Sparta 
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. 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).
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.
The municipality Sparta was formed at the 2011 local government reform by the merger of the following 7 former municipalities, that became municipal units:
Living up to its ancient legacy of oligarchic government, Sparta is the most conservative city in Greece. It has never had a left-wing mayor and it was one of the few cities that voted in support of retaining the monarchy in 1974.
As of 2012, the mayor of Sparta is Stavros Argeitakos.
Spartathlon takes place every September since 1983. It is an ultramarathon starting in Athens and finishing in Sparta, with many international participants.
Sparta is twinned with:
- "Detailed census results 2011" (xls 2,7 MB). National Statistical Service of Greece. (Greek)
- "Modern day Sparta". Retrieved 2014-09-06.
- "Meteoclub.gr". Retrieved 2014-09-05.
- "N.O.A July 2012 bulletin". Retrieved 2013-01-20.
- Kallikratis law Greece Ministry of Interior (Greek)
- "Welcome to Sparta". City of Sparta. Retrieved 2014-09-08.
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