This web of lights is one of the most ancient cities in the world, seen from 249 miles above the Earth. Athens, Greece, is the ancient home of Plato and Aristotle, but in this photo taken from the International Space Station, it’s a sprawling modern metropolis.

Cosmonaut Sergey Volkov posted this image from his Twitter account yesterday.

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People have lived in Athens for at least 9,000 years, and today it is home to about 3 million. About 3,000 years ago, Athens was one of the most powerful city-states in ancient Greece — a center of trade, philosophy, and art. Today, remnants of Greek, Roman, and Byzantine art and architecture exist alongside modern life.

Image credit: Sergey Volkov/NASA/Roscosmos.


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