Piraeus, Sister City of Odessa
The city of Piraeus is located in the region of Attica, within the Athens urban area and along the East coast of the Saronic Gulf. It is the Greek biggest harbour, with a population of approximately 164.000 people.
The port of Piraeus is the largest port in Greece and one of the busiest ports in Europe. In addition, Piraeus is placed among the top ten ports in container traffic in Europe and it is one of the largest container ports in the Mediterranean.
Cultural sites in Piraeus
The Municipal Theatre is a landmark of the city of Piraeus. It was founded in June 1884 and expressed the vision of the emerging bourgeoisie and intellectuals of that time to designate the city as an international cultural centre. Its internal layout followed the standard of the “Theatre d΄Odeon” in Paris. It can accommodate 600 spectators.
The Hellenic Maritime Museum is the largest maritime museum in Greece and in its halls there are more than 2.500 objects, evoking the maritime history and tradition from pre-historic times to the present day. Its Naval Library is also open to the public and consists of more than 17.000 volumes of books and magazines focusing on naval history, science and art.
The Archeological Museum of Piraeus contains mainly sculptures from Bronze Age to Roman Times derived from archaeological research in the wider area of the city of Piraeus, the western coast of Attica and Argosaronikos Islands.
The Lion of Piraeus, which adorns Xavierou Coast, is a copy of the original marble statue that once decorated the entrance of Piraeus port. Because of its prominent position at the port for many centuries, Piraeus was initially given the name “Porto Leone” (Port Lion) by the Latins and “Aslan Port” by the Ottomans.
Kastella is an elegant and popular district of Piraeus, built on a hill known as Profitis Ilias. The view from the hill of the main port is breathtakingly unique and at the top of it there is the picturesque little church. On the hill of Profitis Ilias there is also the open-air theatre Veakeio, hosting a wide range of important cultural events during the summer.
Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium is the home ground of the greek football club “Olympiacos F.C.”. It is classified among 28 others in Europe as a 5-star football stadium by the UEFA organization, suitable to host a UEFA Europe League Final.
The University of Piraeus is the second oldest business school established in Greece, and its Department of Banking and Financial Management is the country’s oldest one. It has ten academic departments focusing on Business Management, Computer Science, Finance and Maritime Studies.
Beaches and entertainment
Piraeus offers many organised beaches and touristic sites with cafes, restaurants and seafood tavernas. The most popular are Votsalakia and the Municipal Beach of Freatida. Zea Marina and the Marina near the Peace and Friendship Stadium offer the opportunity of mooring boats or renting sailing boats and travelling around the Saronic Gulf. Here is some of the most popular entertainment and nightlife places:
Zea Harbour (Pasalimani), some of the most impressive yachts and cruise ships anchor. The seafront area bustles with life both in the daytime and at nightime.
Mikrolimano is a popular location attracting people from all over Attica. It has a beautiful, picturesque little harbour with fishing boats and luxury yachts.
Piraiki is considered one of the most popular areas of the city with its picturesque Venus bay and the chapel of Saint Nikolaos, which looks like a windmill and the mooring boats of the Amateur Fishing Club of Piraeus.
Trouba was the commercial and financial centre of Piraeus until the early 20th century before turning into a very infamous district until 1967. Due to its notoriety it often served as the background of several greek and international films such as the Oscar award-winning film “Never on Sunday” starring Melina Merkouri. Nowadays, the district has been significantly upgraded and has turned into one of the most popular nightlife spots in the whole region of Attica.
Twinning between the cities of Piraeus and Odessa
On 25-03-1993 a Twinning of Cities Agreement was signed between Piraeus’ and Odessa’ municipalities aiming at enhancing joint initiatives and exchanges in the fields of culture, tourism, sports, education, shipping and trade. The Bar Associations of Piraeus and Odessa are also twinned.
Within the framework of this twinning agreement the Municipality of Piraeus took some significant initiatives to promote cooperation and friendship between the two cities:
- “Odessa Square” in Piraeus. Opposite the main port of Piraeus there is a square named “Odessa” indicating the bond between the sister-cities of Piraeus and Odessa. Its naming ceremony took place on 25-03-1994.
- The Municipality of Piraeus in collaboration with the University of Piraeus provides students from Odessa with scholarships in order to continue their studies at the University of Piraeus.
- In addition, children from Odessa are hosted annually at a summer camp in Piraeus.
This presentation was provided by the Municipality of Piraeus, Office of the Vice Mayor for Media, Communications, Public Relations & EU funding programs.