Inspired by the Greek capital’s long history of democracy, freedom, art, and culture, countless cities across the world, but particularly in the US, have adopted the name of Athens as their own.
The name Athens, due to the city’s renown, has been embraced by towns and cities across the ancient world in antiquity, such as the ancient city of Athenae in Turkey, and the trend has continued throughout the centuries.
Considering the well-established influence Classical Athens had on the founding Founding Fathers while they were shaping the nation, it is no surprise that there is a large concentration of towns and cities called Athens in the US.
The most well known of these American cities named after Athens, Greece, and the most populous, is the city of Athens in Georgia
The city of around 130,000 residents is home to the University of Georgia (UGA), and is known for its distinct “college town” atmosphere, full of bookstores, coffee shops, and hip hangouts. Many folk, rock, and indie bands got their start in the vibrant, artsy enclave.
Athens, Georgia got its name due to the university housed there, as members of local government hoped that UGA would resemble the Platonic Academy, the university formed by Plato in ancient Athens.
In addition to Athens, Georgia, there are an estimated 33 other towns and cities named after the Greek capital.
Cities and towns named Athens in the US
West Athens, California
New Athens, Illinois
New Athens Township, St. Clair County, Illinois
Athens Township, Jewell County, Kansas
Athens Township, Michigan
Athens Township, Minnesota
Athens (town), New York
Athens (village), New York
Athens County, Ohio
Athens Township, Athens County, Ohio
Athens Township, Harrison County, Ohio
New Athens, Ohio
Athens Township, Bradford County, Pennsylvania
Athens Township, Crawford County, Pennsylvania
Athens, West Virginia
European Cities and Towns Named After Greece’s ancient capital
Along with the US, many European cities and towns are also named after Athens. This is due to the fact that much of the Western world has based their culture, justice system, education, art and literature on ancient wisdom from Classical Athens.
Athenstedt, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany
Atena Lucana, Province of Salerno, Campania, Italy
Atina, Province of Frosinone, Lazio, Italy
Ateny, Podlaskie Voivodeship, Poland
Afini, Donetsk, Ukraine
Cities named after Athens, Greece in Latin America
There are also a number of cities in Latin America, specifically in Costa Rica and Honduras, that are named after the illustrious city in Greece.
Although small, there is a collection of diaspora Greeks all around Latin America, who keep knowledge of their culture and history alive.
Additionally, the Greek Revolution of 1821 against the Ottomans inspired many countries in Latin America in their own revolts against the Spanish.
Cities named after Athens, Greece in Latin America:
Atenas De San Cristóbal, Atlántida, Honduras
Atenas, Costa Rica
Atenas, regional unit, Costa Rica