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Monastiraki has always been a point of interaction between the history and monumental genealogy of Athens with the modern city.

  1. Modern and Contemporary era (1821 - )

    1895 Yusurum started around that time, although the area already had the aura of an oriental bazaar.

  2. Ottoman era (1453- 1821)

  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)

  7. Archaic era (800-479 BC)

  8. Geometric era (-1100- 800 BC)

  9. Prehistory (-1100 BC)

What I can see

Monastiraki is an area built almost entirely on top of antiquities, some of which are visible underneath the surface or around its square. This densely-populated area is a point of interaction between the history and monumental genealogy of Athens with the modern city. To the far south, one can see the grandeur of the classical Acropolis; to the east, the Roman Library of Hadrian with its impressive façade, and right next to it, the Ottoman mosque of Tzisdarakis; to the north, the Byzantine/ post-Byzantine Church of the Virgin Mary (Panagia) Pantanassa; to west, the 19th century train station, surrounded by 20th century commercial buildings; finally, the square itself was revamped recently, making it a 21st century work. Monastiraki is a major transport hub, famous for its Sunday bazaar (Yusurum) of vintage items in nearby Avyssinias Square, although most of what is sold here are tourist souvenirs and clothes. It has a few bars, especially alternative ones, as well as cafes and taverns, most of them on Adrianou Street. There are also cafes and bars on terraces or top floors of buildings, with beautiful views of the city.

What I can't see

Monastiraki has always been a lively, popular area. It used to have blacksmith workshops and all sorts of shops, adding a touch of orientalism to the city. In the 19th century, the smell of leather was strong on Pandrosou Street, due to the tsarouchia (traditional men’s shoes) workshops. Its name comes from the small monastery (today named Panagia Pantanassa), located on the homonymous square. The market of Monastiraki used to be where Athenians from all over town came for a bargain. Today, prices are about as high as in the rest of the city.


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

Melampianaki E. (2006), Οι πλατείες της Αθήνας 1834-1945, διαδικασία διαμόρφωσης, λειτουργία- πολεοδομική σημασία, [The squares of Athens 1834-1945, formation process- functionality- urban design importance], NTUA, Ph.D.

Micheli L., (1997), Μοναστηράκι: Από το Σταροπάζαρο στο Γιουσουρούμ, [Monastiraki: from weed bazaar to Usurum], Okeanida Publications

Scientific editors’ field observation

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