Author

themis

Browsing

Hadrian was an emperor who focused on Athens in many ways. During his period, the Olympian Zeus temple was completed, a project that had initially started from Peisistratus, and which last columns you can see today standing. Moreover, Hadrian funded the expansion of Athens’ Agora, which Library’s wall can also be seen outside Monastiraki metro.

But there is another project that is quite larger and maybe one of the biggest made in Athens- before Athens metro perhaps. That is Hadrian’s aqueduct. Construction began in 125 AD and was completed in 140 AD. The aqueduct provided water to Athens more more than 18 centuries, making use of Athens surrounding mountains’ resources, Penteli and Parnitha. It was a typical roman project of hydrogeological culture, showing exactly why the Romans ruled for so many centuries.

Recently, during the modern Athens history, the USA company ULEN was responsible for the water supply of Athens (1924). The company started with the mapping and cleaning of the Hadrianic aqueduct, so 299 wells were numbered. Today there are about 130 exposed wells in public areas or private properties.

The tunnel’s route started from Parnitha, passed from Menidi, Kifissos river and Herakleion and Metamorfosis municipalities. Today in Nea Ionia you can clearly see a part of the infrastructure, to Halandri. Following Kifissias, the tunnel went to Ampelokipoi and Lycabettus Hill. The complete number of well is 465, 10-42 meters deep. Hope in the future to we have the chance to visit a part of this huge project!!!!

Like everywhere, Athens has its dangers. Not many, but they exist. Here are some, thankfully not so important!

  1. Be careful of “pilots”. These are persons who get into conversation with you asking something neutral, like time or lighter and become your friend, offering to guide you around the city. Avoid them gently.
  2. Taxi drivers. Many drivers wait at certain points and charge for huge amount of money, especially routes to the sea, or airport. When you enter a taxi just ask them to turn on the counter. Be careful the tariff to be simple -during the day or inside city limits- or double- at night. Also please check your stuff before leaving the taxi.
  3. Food and coffee. They are obliged to offer you water for free. If they offer you a bottle, they have to ask you before that, because you have to pay for it. Offering free water is obligatory in Greece. Also if you don’t like anything, you can change it ONCE. You can ask the waiter and complain gently that this is not what you asked for, and they have to replace it, without further charges.
  4. Metro and buses. Some people steal wallets and mobiles. Please be careful when you enter public means generally, especially if you are a tourist.
  5. Tourist traps. Generally ask for the menu and the pricelist before ordering anything. Also consider trip advisor, or google review before your visit at a place. Also when you shop anything, the shop owner is obliged to give you a receipt! Athens today is a really mature destination, loves to serve travellers, but just in case just let’s all be more careful!

Everybody knows that Greeks are Orthodox. Especially in Plaka you may explore a fantastic scenery of sacred monuments, built in 11th century, during Athens’ last period of glory. After that period, Athens was occupied by Latins and Ottomans, till the final liberation of the city in 1828 and its new architectural plan.

Discovering Plaka’s churches is really magnificent. Check our online google map here. 

One of the greatest Athens brands

Melissions Sandals at Psirri is one of the top selections someone can make while in Athens, is you want something related to leather. Melissinos name can be found in another shop in Athens, that of Olgianna, at Monastiraki.

Ceramic art, the business that created Athenian Hegemony, an art of thousand of centuries lives still in Athens. Tsolias gallery, Doathart and more can guarantee an extraordinary proposal for a gift.

Jewellery? Geoart and Alexis are some of the numerous proposals about that. Who knows? after visiting them you may get any custom idea or design! And of course Pigi and his shop near that of George’s!

Plaka as a neighbourhood was built onto the ancient paths that existed in Athens, even amo

ng ruins. Moreover, the new Athens plan that was made from foreign architects, young people, just finished their studies at that time, who wanted to builf their fame together with the new capital of Greece, on the ancient “highways”.

These streets are Iera Odos, that led from Elefsis to Acropolis, Panathineon street, today inside Athens Agora, and of course Plaka streets as Tripodon, Kydathineon, Adrianou. If you notice carefully having your head looking up, you will see Acropolis rock from Patision, Pireos, Kifissias, since all roads were leading to that hill. How about Plaka?

Streets of Plaka were next to ancient ruins, that were built either just after war with neoclassical buildings, either renovated and today they are beautiful buildings, either were abandoned and today you pass by and you ask yourself “why”.. Buildings stand among the ancient walls, next to ancient buildings, a destroyed column is in Philomousou square…. Time is everywhere around in Plaka and plays with its visitor. Time is what a traveller spends and time is what everyone cannot earn…. time is precious and while walking at Plaka’s streets you can definitely realise and move forward… Even if many monuments of Athens do not exist today, in Plaka you can realise a lot of that value.. and feel like Athens european visitors felt 200 years before.. 

Athens has a vast selection of hotels and other accomodation types, such as airbnb, hostels. By checking online each particular website is the best option, so you can choose different options.

But when you want to choose an area, where is better? And are there any special places regarding Plaka?

Athens is separated in central Athens, where Acropolis and Plaka is, where the tourist center is.The center includes Gazi- Kerameikos, Lycabettus-Kolonaki, Exarcheia, Pagrati, Koukaki, even Petralona at the south of Philopappou Hill

Then northern suberbs, where you can access city centre by Line one or 3. Northern suberbs, as the South ones  are considered better, which makes them more expensive. The south suberbs are located next to the sea, so they are far more prestigious. Northen suburbs are next to Parnitha and Penteli mountains.

East suberbs are close to center, since Hymmetus mountain distance is really close to Acropolis. East Attica is also where Athens airport is, and there is also access to nice beaches during summer of course. Western suburbs are considered less prestigious, but there are many alternatives for entertainment and nightlife. To the west of Athens there is also the national highway taking you to Corinth and Pelopponesus.

The south could be separated in Piraeus, Faliro -where you can pass to Argosaronikos bay, and the other side, that takes you to Sounio, the southernmost of Attica.

When Emperor Hadrian arrived to Athens, while the city’s Roman period, he was astonished by the city’s beauty and glory. At 131 AD he completed the construction of one of the biggest temples of the antiquity, whose remains we can visit today at the archaeological place of Olympeion.

The modern site is located next to Plaka and Syntagma (500 meters from both) and anyone can realize its past glory and destructions. Made from Pentelic white marble, and with a fallen column in 1852, the temple is unique.

It is said that the temple foundation was directed related to Greeks mythical ancestor, Defkalion. Peisistratus also tried to finish the temple but it was a really expensive project. So Hadrian who adored Athens and Greek culture, was the only one who managed to do it.

 

Mythodea on June 28st 2001

A concert was organised on that date, related to NASA. Here is the video

 

Kerameikos archaeological area

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.

Savapile, at Agias Eleousis, is a shop with handamade hats
Today a parking, at the past the place where Lord Byron met the Maid of Athens…

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, 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 monetary system. Athens Kerameikos area was the ancient source of craftmanship, where athenian designers and workers created amazing objects, both in utility and aestheatics. Moreover, the stability of the democratic political 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 the same area of Keramikos. 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. Who knows, you may be attracted to it.. here is the contact link to find out!