Piraeus

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Piraeus,

Greece: see PiraiévsPiraiévs
or Piraeus
, city (1991 pop. 182,671), E central Greece, in Attica, on the Saronic Gulf; part of Greater Athens. It is the port of Athens and the chief port in Greece.
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Piraeus

 

a city in Greece, located on the northeastern coast of the Saronic Gulf of the Aegean Sea. Population, 187,400 (1971). Piraeus belongs to the nome of Attica and is part of Greater Athens. It is a junction of two principal railroads: the Piraeus-Athens-Salonika line and the Piraeus-Athens-Corinth line. The city is Greece’s largest port, handling about 50 percent of the foreign trade cargoes. Piraeus is an industrial center. It has machine-building, chemical, cement, glass, paper, tobacco, textile, and food-processing industries. There are enterprises for the production of aluminum and ceramic goods, building materials, carpets, and rope. Piraeus also has shipbuilding and ship-repair facilities, as well as a heat and electric power plant.

The first settlements on the site of Piraeus appeared in early antiquity. Beginning in the fifth century B.C., it was a commercial and military port and a defensive point for ancient Athens. In 86 B.C., Piraeus was destroyed by the Roman commander Sulla. During the Turkish domination of Greece (15th through 19th centuries), even the name “Piraeus” was no longer used. After Greece won its independence in 1830, Piraeus deyeloped further as a port and industrial center. During World War II, Piraeus was severely damaged by the fascist German occupation forces. The city has been one of the centers of Greece’s democratic movement. The First Congress of the Communist Party of Greece was held in Piraeus in November 1918.

After 446 B.C., Piraeus was reconstructed on a rectangular plan by the architect Hippodamus. It was connected by the “long walls” with the city fortifications of Athens. Present-day Piraeus was built according to a plan by the German architect E. Schaubert (1835), who restored the ancient street plan.

Intensive industrial and housing construction has been carried out, as a result of which Piraeus has merged with Athens. Piraeus has a museum of ancient sculpture.

Piraeus

, Peiraeus
a port in SE Greece, adjoining Athens: the country's chief port; founded in the 5th century bc as the port of Athens. Pop.: 169 622 (1991)