About the city
Athens is the capital of Greece and its largest city. It is also considered one of the oldest cities in the world, dating back to 3400 years old.
Athens is the center of art, science and philosophy. It is considered the cradle of the Western civilization and the cradle of democracy. It has played a major role in cultural and political achievements during the fourth and fifth centuries BC.
Athens is the commercial hub of the European Union. In 2008, Athens was ranked 32nd among the richest cities in the world.
About the agreement
On May 10th 1986, a twinning agreement was signed between the municipality of Bethlehem and the Greek municipality of Athens. The agreement was signed between the then Mayor of Bethlehem, Mr.Elias Freij and the then mayor of Athens, Mr. Dimitri Pez.
The main reason for the twinning of the two cities was their common characteristics, especially their importance as spiritual capitals. Bethlehem is one of the holiest and most spiritual place in the world, as it is the birthplace of Jesus Christ, while Athens is considered the cradle of the ancient Greek spirit.
The aim of the twinning was to overcome the intermediate problems both cities face and to build real cultural relations between the two.