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Anafiotika is a Cycladic neighbourhood at the heart of Athens.

  1. Modern and Contemporary era (1821 - )

    1847 Beginning of the construction works that lasted less than 20 years.

    1950 Part of the neighbourhood was demolished to carry out excavations.

    1970 Expropriations made by the Ministry of Culture.

  2. Ottoman era (1453- 1821)

    The area was called "Black Stones" because it was inhabited by African slaves.

  3. Byzantine era (331 AC- 1453)

  4. Roman era (30 BC- 330 AC)

  5. Hellenistic era (322- 31 BC)

  6. Classical era (478-323 BC)

    In ancient times it was not allowed for anyone to reside in the area, a rule breached by Peloponnesian war refugees.

  7. Archaic era (800-479 BC)

  8. Geometric era (-1100- 800 BC)

  9. Prehistory (-1100 BC)

What I can see

The development of the Anafiotika district started in the 19th century and is one of the first examples of illegal construction of the newly-established Greek State. Its houses were built illegally, mainly during the eviction of Otto, by internal migrants from the island of Anafi, among other islands in the Cyclades group. This is the reason behind the neighbourhood’s insular architecture. Biris (1966) describes it as “an architectural example of structural simplicity and of brilliant energy-saving.” Only a small number of buildings in the district have survived, among which are 45 listed homes. The streets resemble pathways and have not been named, while house numbering is simplified to Anafiotika 1, 2 etc. The neighbourhood also has two restored old churches, St. Simeon and St. George of the Rock.

What I can't see

The first inhabitants were Giorgos Damigos and Markos Sigalas, who worked secretly at night to build their homes because they could not find land where they could settle. Their example was followed later by other builders and craftsmen. The landscape is similar to that of their place of origin. The ground has a steep slope, and it is rocky and dry. Their familiarity with these conditions allowed them to carve stairs, open alleys, and build their own space. Previously, the roofs were flat and all-white and, viewed from above, made the neighbourhood look like a flock of sheep. In subsequent years, some Asia Minor refugees also moved in here, which changed the architectural character of the area. Most scholars and archaeologists of the time considered Anafiotika a disgrace for the city, a visual blotch on the monumental landscape of the Acropolis. During that time, there was strong resentment between the residents of the Cycladic Anafiotika district and the Neoclassical Plaka district.


Archaeology of the city of Athens, (d.u.), Αναφιώτικα [Anafiotika], ΕΙΕ

Last visit 7/9/2013

Yohalas T., Kafetzaki Τ., (2013), Αθήνα, Ιχνηλατώντας την πόλη με οδηγό την ιστορία και τη λογοτεχνία [Athens, Tracing thecity guidedby history andliterature], ESTIA Bookstore

Collective Work, (d.u.), Αθήνα, τεκμήρια φωτογραφικού αρχείου, [Athens, photo archive documents], Secretariat General of Information

Filippidis D., (1984), Νεοελληνική Αρχιτεκτονική [Neohellenic Architecture], Athens