Everybody desires to walk around the streets of Plaka. The most celebrated region in Plaka is Anafiotika, that everyone can find in most of Athens’ guides. Anafiotika include also history inside them, with churches and taverns as well. Their main colour is Cycladic white, because they were built by builders from Anafi island (initially hired to build Athens new Anaktora- Palace that was being built 1836-1847, since Athens was the new capital at 1834). Plaka’s inhabitants were offended by the islanders’ illegal building activity, but they accepted them because King finally allowed them to built their houses there.
Consequently, Anafiotika (houses) stand in the northern slopes of Acropolis, constructed from two builders originating from Anafi island. They started building two houses for their families by curving the rock, without being noticed by the local policemen.
The first two inhabitants were a carpenter named G. Damigos (next to Brettos in Kydathineon there is Damigos restaurant) and builder M. Sigalas. They created a neighborhood not only covered in white colour, but with basil flower pots, pergolas and climaxes. Their intervention is expanding between two churches that found destroyed and rebuilt them with love and care.
What is worth mentioning and also visiting is the two churches, functioning also as a type of Anafiotika borders.. The church of Saint George Stratonos was made white like Aegean island colours. The temple is located in the northeast side of Acropolis, in Stratonos street, and has a northeast orientation. During Greek War of Independence, the temple suffered mass destruction. Agios Georgios is also connected to a story who committed suicide jumping from Acropolis holding the Greek flag, in 1941, named Koukidis. In 1964, in the left part a new small church of Saint Constantine was built and today both churches are next to Saint Nikolas Ragavas.
The second Anafiotika church is Saint Symeon. The temple was initially built in 17th century but in 1847 was rebuilt. Anafiotes also place a copy of Panagia Kalamiotissa icon, originally located in Anafi church.The church of Saint Symeon was also the residence of Anafi’s Union in Athens, established in 1927.
Moreover, inside the narrow paths and climaxes, someone can come to a surprise, due to loving sentiment combined with ergonomic use of space. Nevertheless, Anafiotika architect style sometimes includes a high wall that separates the house from the road, inside there is a front yard, sometimes a well, made from stone and marble. During archaeological excavations carried out in 1950, some buildings were demolished. Anafiotika today are considered as a cultural heritage, and measuring today 45 buildings. The area changed around 1922 with the Pontic Greeks who arrived to Athens.The last point to mention is that streets there have no name.
In some Athens guides you may meet toponymes Rizokastro and Vryssaki, today a part of lost Athens’ heritage. Rizokastro fortifications were located around the Tower of Winds (Aerides), reaching Theater of Dionyssus. It was a part the post Roman Wall, built during roman times (267-282 AD) around Acropolis, as well as with Beule gate. A part of it, was excavated during the expansion of Kanellopoulos Museum in the streets Aretousis and Theorias (8,5 m. long and height 1,5 m.) which is in a very good situation preserved. You can visit the museum list for more info.
Vrysaki is located closer to Monastiraki and Thisseio, the neighborhood that was excavated in order Athens to show its past to the world. The parts of Adrianou, Vouleftiriou, Apostolou Pavlou and Agion Asomaton are a part of Vrysaki area. Today you can enjoy a quiet cup of coffee in Vryssaki Café.