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Today’s capital city of Athens in Attica bears little resemblance in architecture to its small-town predecessor in the 18th-century. The centre of modern Athens wasn’t even within the boundaries of the former city.
Through the years architecture has changed. Dirt roads evolved to avenues and the capital underwent Ovidian metamorphoses. It was bombed and rebuilt numerous times. Its streets saw the Ottoman cavalry, Nazi jackboots, the tanks of the military junta; it witnessed occupation and freedom, blood and fire, destruction and rebirth. And it managed to emerge with its head held high.
It’s a city that was never enslaved for long, always remembering that it has been, is and will always be the cradle of democracy. It sees itself rightly as the birthplace of philosophy – the values that underlie western civilisation.
As you wander its alleys, parks, squares and avenues, observe the eclectic mix of architecture; remember that this was a city that has reinvented itself many times over. Scratch the surface and you’ll understand the Athenian miracle – that it is constantly evolving and, ultimately, surviving, thanks to the city’s spirit, its people and its fated role in history.
Known to Athenians as the "Kostis Palamas" building, this stunning, renovated building at the junction of Akadimias and Massalias Streets, has a long history.
Built in 1889, this four-story building was home for over 60 years to the “Alexander the Great” hotel.
Owned by the University of Athens, this hospital on Vasilissis Sofias Street was designed by Elias Aggelopoulos and Ioannis Ioannou, and built between 1896 and 1898.
Construction began here in 1847 under King Otto’s rule. Located at the corner of Panepistimiou and Sina Streets, it was based on designs by Theophile Hansen.
The Antonopoulos Flats, or the Blue Building, is a six-storey structure from the 1930s.
The 94-metre Calatrava Footbridge, on Mesogeion Avenue, is located just outside the Katehaki metro station.
Housed in an impressive building on Kydathineon street in Plaka, the Centre for Asia Minor Studies sits opposite the Byzantine Church of Metamorphosi.
Located on Adrianou Street in Plaka, the Dimotiki Scholi (Municipal School), was built between 1875 and 1876.
The Dionysus Restaurant is located on Rovertou Gali Street at the foot of Philopappos Hill.