Greece, officially the Hellenic Republic is a country in Southeastern Europe, situated on the southern end of the Balkan Peninsula. Athens is the capital; Thessaloniki, Patras, Heraklion, Volos and Larissa are some of the country's other major cities.
Modern Greece is a developed country, a member of the European Union since 1981, a member of the Economic and Monetary Union of the European Union since 2001, NATO since 1952, the OECD since 1961, the WEU since 1995, and ESA since 2005.
The Culture of Greece has evolved over thousands of years, with its beginnings in the Mycenaean and Minoan Civilizations, continuing most notably into Classical Greece, through the influence of the Roman Empire and its Greek Eastern successor the Byzantine Empire. The Ottoman Empire too had a significant influence on Greek Culture, but the Greek war of independence is credited with revitalizing Greece and giving birth to a single entity of its multi-faceted culture throughout the ages.
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