"Anafiotika" A Neighborhood Above Plaka in Athens

Trip Start Apr 24, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Greece  , Attica,
Sunday, August 7, 2011

I am out on a long stroll in Athens this afternoon and I want to show you my favorite neighborhood somewhere above Plaka. It is in the centre of Athens, but it creates the impression of walking in a Greek island and this makes it so special. I am wandering in the north section around these small streets in the slopes under the Acropolis in the area called Anafiotika. It is about a cluster of small houses built by some workers who came here the mid of 19th century to build Athens. They came from the Cycladic island of Anafi and this is in fact how it got its name.  

Times when I either feel gloomy or missed the beautiful Greek islands, I come here.  These small white-washed houses built amidst the rocks, the narrow meandering steep streets and steps, the stone walls and beautiful little gardens full of colorful flowers, give me the impression that I am away from the mainland, and for sure away from Athens.  One thing is certain; after I come up here I feel so much better.

It all started when two homeless workers from Anafi, smuggled the necessary building materials and built 2 rooms for their families. When others saw that police did nothing to stop them, and instead the workers had the compassion of the police, they started building their own small houses. The majority of these people were skilled craftsmen, builders and marble cutters who were working those days at the numerous construction sites throughout Athens.

The result is that despite their poor means and haste they succeeded in adjoining their community with the Acropolis without taking away from the magnificence of the ancient monument.

It is considered to be the most surprising section in Plaka that nobody expects to see.

Find more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anafiotika
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