Monday, 2 April 2012


Pláka is the old historical neighbourhood of Athens, clustered around the northern and eastern slopes of the Acropolis, and incorporating labyrinthine streets and neoclassical architecture. Plaka is built on top of the residential areas of the ancient town of Athens. It is known as the "Neighbourhood of the Gods" due to its proximity to the Acropolis and its many archaeological sites.

Plaka was developed mostly around the ruins of Ancient Agora of Athens in an area that has been continuously inhabited since antiquity. During the years of Ottoman rule, Plaka was the known as the "Turkish quarter of Athens", and the seat of the Turkish Voevode (Governor). During the Greek War of Independence, Plaka like the rest of Athens, was temporarily abandoned by its inhabitants because of the severe battles that took place mostly in 1826. The area was repopulated during the first years of King Otto's rule. Plaka had a sizable Arvanite community till the late 19th century, which lead some to refer to it as the Albanian (Arvanite) quarter of Athens. At the same period the neighborhood of Anafiotika, featuring traditional Cycladic architecture, was built by settlers from the Aegean island of Anafi.

Plaka is visited by hundreds of thousands of tourists around the year, and is under strict zoning and conservation regulations, being the only neighbourhood in Athens where all utilities (water, power, cable television, telephone, internet, and sewage) lie underground in fully accessible, custom-made tunnelling. Motor vehicles are not allowed in Plaka, and most streets are too narrow, thus not being able to accommodate them anyway.

This post is part of the Mellow Yellow meme.

One of the Plaka streets with many of the 19th century buildings well-restored 
It is hard to miss seeing the Acropolis from almost every street of Plaka. In the corner, a beautifully restored neoclassical building housing a branch of the Bank of Piraeus 
The Thesseion (Temple of Hephaestus - Vulcan) is the best-preserved ancient Greek temple in Athens; it remains standing largely as built. It is a Doric peripteral temple, and is located at the north-west side of the Agora of Athens, on top of the Agoraios Kolonos hill. From the 7th century until 1834, it served as the Greek Orthodox church of St. George Akamates
Excavation works continue throughout Athens and new discoveries of ancient buildings and artefacts are constantly made by archaeologists 
Many of the lovely old 19th century buildings have fallen into disrepair because of the prohibitive costs of restoration
Another typical Plaka street with a beautifully restored neoclassical building
19th century Athens was a beautiful small city with wonderful architecture, as can be seen in the old Athens neighbourhood of Plaka
Looking towards Mt Lycabettus in the distance. Mount Lycabettus is a Cretaceous limestone. At 277 meters above sea level, the hill is the highest point in the city that surrounds it. Pine trees cover its base, and at its two peaks are the 19th century Chapel of St. George, a theatre, and a restaurant. The hill is a popular tourist destination and can be ascended by the Lycabettus Funicular, a railway which climbs the hill from a lower terminus at Kolonaki. Lycabettus appears in various legends. Popular stories suggest it was once the refuge of wolves, possibly the origin of its name (which means "the the hill that is walked by wolves"). Mythologically, Lycabettus is credited to Athena, who created it when she dropped a mountain she had been carrying from Pallene for the construction of the Acropolis after the box holding Erichthonius was opened
A Byzantine chapel built on top of ancient ruins. The layers of history are superimposed on every site in Athens
At the end of the day it's nice to sit in one of the restaurants and enjoy wonderful Greek cuisine with retsina wine (flavoured with pine resin!)


  1. Beautiful photos Nick. I can just see myself relaxing at one of those outdoor tables in the evening - I can't wait to visit.

  2. Pięknie na zdjęciach pokazujesz tą część wspaniałego miasta w Grecji. Pozdrawiam.*** Beauty of the pictures you show that part of the magnificent city in Greece. Yours

  3. Great shots, -lovely colours!
    It is perfect for MYM.
    I wish you a Happy Easter!

  4. Beautiful, beautiful architecture! And such dazzling light surrounds them! A fascinating post!

  5. thank you for the wonderful tour!

  6. You seem to be doing a lot of travelling, it would be interesting to know when you were at these various places. Another lovely virtual tour.

  7. I wish to see this beautiful place someday.

    Please come and see my LEGO Project for mellow yellow.

    PS.... I just followed your blog. Would you be kind and folly my blog as well? Pretty please??? Thanks in advance!

  8. Wow these is the kind of place I like to visit. Awesome shots!

    Jelly Beans

  9. Looks like a photographer's dream visit!

  10. when did you go there? Before all the economic trouble?

  11. Ann, last time I was in Athens was in 2008.

  12. Great photos! I feel like I was there.

  13. Fabulous captures all, Nick. Very atmospheric. Happy Easter.


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