Even if Athens is known also by its mythology and epic heroes, like Theseus, Classical Greece is named mainly after Athens spread Greek culture around the world. Classical period lasts for about two centuries, after Persian Wars till the death of Alexander the Great, were Greek civilisation transforms the global civilisation as Hellenistic.
Classical Athens and generally Greek, is about democracy, theater & drama, architecture, mathematics, philosophy, and everything that was taught in ancient Athens and Alexandria, which were the main centers of science. Classical world continued until 529 AD and the closing of Athens schools from Christian Byzantine Emperors.
Thankfully, today 17 foreign schools are based in Athens to study Classical period, from the remains found at excavations. These schools offer a lot to modern archeological science and they produce many events in Athens and many of them are located around Plaka and its streets. We are so happy that these people come and study Greek culture.
If today someone wants to visit Classical Greece, he should start from Athens, get to Ancient Olympia, Delphi and finally Delos. Aegean is related to earlier Cycladic civilization and Crete to later Minoan. Modern Athens was built as a european classical thematic park, that bear neoclassicism, something that is obvious with a walk around the city.
Classicism is mostly a concept, an idea, something general and abstract sometimes that described human development is scientific framework. After Ottoman times and Greece’s liberation, the Greek revival concept in architecture was everywhere around Europe and Athens. Architects managed to transform the city and create a modern european capital. Neoclassical Plaka and neoclassical Athens, actually while walking around the streets of Plaka you can admire many buildings that show the glory of ancient Greece in modern architecture.
But you have to come to Athens to feel it!