High winds and a cold snap brought Athens to a standstill on Monday as the Acropolis got covered in a thin blanket of snow.
Snow also dusted other ancient monuments in the Greek capital.
The inclement weather prompted authorities in greater Athens to shut schools and courthouses while debates in parliament were suspended. Cellphone alerts sent by authorities to Athens residents urged them to stay indoors.
Numerous bus services have also been cancelled.
Island of Evia also affected
The harsh weather sweeping across southern Greece would mostly affect areas north of the capital and the nearby island of Evia and was expected to last through Wednesday, authorities confirmed.
“We strongly recommend that people exercise caution and strictly limit movements to those that are absolutely necessary,” fire department spokesman Yiannis Artopios said. “The bad weather is intense.”
Uncommon weather patterns
Heavy snow is a rare sight in Athens but the country has now been hit by extreme weather for a third consecutive winter.
A year ago, thousands of people were evacuated from the capital’s main ring-road, with some abandoning their cars on foot or finding shelter at the city’s airport and others trapped in freezing temperatures for hours.
In January 2022, snow fell on several Aegean islands, including on the beaches of popular tourist spot Mykonos. This came just three months after heavy rains flooded hundreds of homes and business across Greece as landslides blocked roads and rivers overflowed in the capital and surrounding areas.
Until Monday’s snow, this winter had been unusually mild in Greece.
jsi/es (AP, dpa, Reuters)