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Piraeus- Kifissia

The contrast between the harbour, the history of refugees and the workers on the one side and the bourgeoisie on the other is noticeable between Piraeus and Kifissia.

  1. Modern and Contemporary era (1821 - )

  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

The route for Metro Line 1 starts at Piraeus and ends in Kifissia. Most of this line runs on the ground level, enabling one to see the cityscape of Athens. The route starts from the working class, industrial and refugee-dominated Piraeus (along with its districts) and continues through the southwestern middle class districts, the historically and culturally complex centre, the old urban and now degraded neighbourhoods of the northern centre, the northern refugee districts, the middle class districts and finally, the traditionally aristocratic Kifissia. The contrast between the harbour, the history of refugees and the workers on the one side and the bourgeoisie on the other is noticeable between Piraeus and Kifissia. Piraeus has a bustling centre, markets suited to average incomes. As for its architecture, massive industrial buildings, refugee houses and workers’ apartment buildings stand out. Conversely, Kifissia is a calmer district, mainly appealing to higher incomes. Some modern buildings and mansions of the 19th-century, influenced by the architecture of central Europe of the time, stand out.

What I can't see

In the old days, the cities of Athens and Piraeus were separate, and there was considerable animosity between the rundown refugee Piraeus, with its infamous bars and the bourgeois Athens. Piraeus, since ancient times, was the port of Athens. The founders of the cities in the Mediterranean preferred hills and avoided shores, due to the threat of pirates. Only active traders and fishermen would take the risk to settle there. Why however did specifically Kifissia turn out to be aristocratic? The king had Danish origin and preferred the woods instead of the sea, so he built his summer palace at Tatoi. Kifissia was the closest settlement to Tatoi, and the entire bourgeoisie was gathered there during the summer months, as was the case for the Winter Palace (now Parliament and the Presidential Palace) and Kolonaki. It is not accidental that today many political families come from Kifissia and reside there and in the surrounding areas. On a sociological level, Piraeus residents have a refugee background, an identity, however, which has been lost to some degree. Piraeus has absorbed much of the internal migration (e.g. former farmers) and urbanisation, leading to urban densification and social diversity. The self-employed, workers and artisans dominate the working map. Kifissia instead mimicked the elite of northern Europe, and inherited this style to future generations. A strong ideological identification to a closed society of the elite prevailed – yet people with an upwards social mobility were not excluded, i.e. people of the middle class who managed to advance.


Field observation by scientific editors


Leontidou L., (1989), Πόλεις της σιωπής, εργατικός εποικισμός της Αθήνας και του Πειραιά, 1909-1940, [Cities of Silence, labour settlement of Athens and Piraeus, 1909-1940) Cultural and Technical Foundation ΕΤΒΑ


Markaris P., (2013), Η Αθήνα μιας διαδρομής, [Athens of one course], Gavriilidis Publications


Benoit- Guilbot O., Maratou- Alimpranti L., Papliakou V., Sorokos E., Tsanira E., Chatzigianni A., (1998), Διαδικασίες Κοινωνικού Μετασχηματισμού στον Πειραιά: Μετακινήσεις, Οικογένεια, Εργασία, [Processes of Social Transformation in Piraues, Transfer, Family, Labour], National Centre of Social Research


Deschamps G., (1890), Η Ελλάδα Σήμερα, [Greece Today], Vima Periigiseis, v.10, 2003 edition