Anafiotika: Historic Art Street
Everybody has a desire to walk around the streets of Plaka. The most celebrated region in Plaka is Anafiotika, which can be found in most of Athens guides. Anafiotika has a lot of history behind it. The main color is Cycladic white because the place was built by people from Anafi island (initially hired to build Athens’s new Anaktora – Palace that was built in 1836-1847, since Athens was the new capital in 1834). Plaka’s inhabitants were offended by the islanders illegal building activity, but they accepted them as the King finally allowed them to build their houses there.
Consequently, Anafiotika (houses) stands on the northern slopes of Acropolis, constructed by 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 str. there is a restaurant named Damigos) and builder M. Sigalas. They created a neighbourhood not only covered in white color, but with basil flower pots, pergolas, and climaxes.
What is worth mentioning and also visiting are the two churches, functioning also as a kind of Anafiotika borders. The church of Saint George Stratonos was colored white like the Aegean islands. The temple is located on the northeast side of Acropolis, in Stratonos street and it has a northeast orientation.
During the Greek War of Independence, the temple suffered mass destruction. Agios Georgios is also connected to a story about someone who committed suicide by 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 the 17th century but in 1847 it was rebuilt. Anafiotes also place a copy of the 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, you will fall in love inside the narrow paths and climaxes, due to loving sentiment combined with ergonomic use of space. Nevertheless, Anafiotika’s architectural style sometimes includes a high wall that separates the house from the road, inside there is a front yard made from stone and marble. During archaeological excavations carried out in 1950, some buildings were demolished. Anafiotika today is considered cultural heritage, with a total of 45 buildings. The area changed around 1922 with the Pontic Greeks who arrived in Athens. The last point to mention is that the streets there has no names.
Lost Vryssaki & Rizokastro areas
In some Athens guides, you may come across with places as Rizokastro and Vryssaki, part of todays lost Athens’ heritage. Rizokastro fortifications were located around the Tower of Winds (Aerides), reaching the Theater of Dionyssus. It was a part of 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 of 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 for Athens to show its past to the world. The parts of Adrianou, Vouleftiriou, Apostolou Pavlou, and Agion Asomaton are a part of the Vrysaki area. Today you can enjoy a quiet cup of coffee in Vryssaki Café.