Athens was a small closed village that was expanded from modern streets (named today) Thrasyllou, Aishinou, Pittakou, Lekka, Praxitelous, Euripidou until Agioi Asomatoi church, Thisseio, Areopagus Hill and Sarri Street.
Psirri is the area between Euripidou, Ermou and Piraeus street at Gazi, having in the middle Kerameikos achaeological area.
Etymology of Psirri area is not certain. Maybe it comes from a church named Saint Athanassios Psirri (from a family name), or a Psarian (from Psara island at Aegean sea, with a vast tradition in shipping). Nonetheless, the genitive “psirri” implies a family name. The neighborhood is quite central, since there are three railway stations, Monastiraki (Line 1 and 3, and Thisseio).
Psirri kept its initial character, as a free area on Haseki wall that surrounded Athens. At Psirri Monastiraki area was also included, something that changed after Cleanthis initial plan on Athens in 1833.
One of the famous early foreign residents was Lord Byron, who was hosted at a neoclassical building that now does not exist…..
At Psirri there are many neoclassical buildings, as in Plaka, and today someone can discover traditional shops with handmade items, such as Savapile, but also many tavernas.
After Plaka, Psirri is the next neighbourhood you should focus on…
Athens global supremacy was founded on the basis of two factors: its olive oil production and exports, and its stable monetary system. Kerameikos area was the ancient source of craftmanship, where athenian designers and workers created amazing objects, both in utility and aesthetics.
Moreover, the stability of the democratic political and financial system gave Athenians a solid goverment, with no ups and downs that the previous had.
Today in Athens there are some schools that still keep the tradition of this craft at Plaka e.g. Dotahart, or at the area of Keramikos. Keramikos is located at Gazi area, and is actually the continuation of Psirri. There are many neoclassical buildings and restaurants.
So, if you plan to stay in Athens for a few months, dont miss the chance of visiting and even taking some courses (why not) of this fantastic traditional workshop of Iridanos, with many years of experience, passion and love for ceramic art.