When two new metro lines were planned to be opened on occasion of the Olympic Games in 2004, this arose much concern in the international archaeological community since tunnels, ventilation shafts, and five stations located in the heart of the ancient city could destroy valuable information about the city's history. Athens has strict preservation laws, and the construction turned out to be an archaeological milestone. 30,000 artifacts were found on 70,000 square meters, the largest excavation project in Greece so far. The Ministry of Culture now features the most important of the excavated objects in permanent displays at three metro stations in the city centre (Syntagma, Evangelismos, and Academia) and at the University of Athens, Zographou campus .
Exhibits in stations:
Academia: Objects found during metro construction on display.
Evangelismos: Objects found during metro construction on display.
Monastiraki: From line 1 platform, a bridge made of glass leads through ancient sewers and foundations excavated during station construction.
Syntagma: Many archaeological exhibits, including amphoras, a tomb with skeleton, and other objects. The concourse wall shows cross-sections of the ground.
Hamburg Consult family Members: Amsterdam, Athens, Dublin (DART), Hamburg (types DT2, DT3), Characteristics: Hamburg's metro operator had been consultant to other cities until the 1970s, so the older train types in these cities look similar.
Mediterranean Sea: Metro Line 1 at Faliro station is within walking distance of a beach (although the water is not very clean in the city's vicinity). There is also a new tram line that runs from the center of the city to the shore which then splits and runs for several kilometers each way along the shore.
Metro line 1 passes the archaeological site of the Agora (limited view). The same line also has a magnificent view of the Olympic Complex Park designed by Santiago Calatrava, and on its route from Thission to Petralona provides a panoramic view of the Gazi area which is an old Gas Fuel factory transformed into a cultural complex.
There is a series of beeps that starts when the doors start closing and stops when they are closed. Then when a train reaches the next station there is a ding-dong and a station announcement in both Greek and English (English added for the 2004 Olympics). Lines 2 and 3: There is a continuous beep when the doors start closing until they are closed.