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Piraeus- Passalimani

Piraeus is the largest port in the country and one of the largest of the Mediterranean.

  1. Modern and Contemporary era (1821 - )

    In the first decades of the 20th century, a "city-port-industry" arc had been formed, which started from the urban centre of Piraeus, continued at the port and ended in the industries of Drapetsona. With the arrival of the refugees from Asia Minor, Piraeus turned into a vast place with tents. In the following decades, Piraeus expanded rapidly.

  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

Piraeus is one of the biggest and most important municipalities in the country. It is the largest port in the country and one of the largest of the Mediterranean. The harbour has been a significant Mediterranean hub ever since ancient times. Passalimani is a neighbourhood of central Piraeus, not a separate area. Apart from its historical, architectural and sociological significance, (inhabited mainly by Greek Asia Minor refugees and their descendants), Piraeus is an ideal place to walk by the sea, in Passalimani and the surrounding area, along pedestrian passages and shops, which offer something to suit all tastes. Passalimani and the neighbourhoods nearby (e.g. Mikrolimano, Marina Zeas) are ideal to have breakfast and an afternoon coffee by the sea. One can enjoy Greek ouzo delicacies in many of these areas and in the Piraeus centre, like on the pedestrian Karaiskou Street. On the hill of Prophet Elias, one can dine or have a drink and admire the view of the coast of Athens and watch the comings and goings on the busy Piraeus harbour.

What I can't see

The city of Piraeus is approximately 9 km from the centre of Athens. The name derives from the ancient “Piraeus”, which comes from the verb “peraioo” meaning “to cross to the other side”. From the same verb comes the word “strait” (“porthmos” in Greek). The Piraeus peninsula was an island in prehistoric times, which explains its name as a “passage” that connected the island with the coast of Faliro. The name Passalimani dates back to the Ottoman Empire. In ancient times it was called Zea, the current name of the port’s pleasure boat marina. Today, Passalimani is the area of the Moutsopoulou Coast marina, while Zea is on the adjacent Themistocles Coast marina. One of the major shortcomings of Piraeus is its lack of street name signs on many streets, which makes a map necessary for tourists. In previous centuries, when Athens and Piraeus were two separate cities, Piraeus was famous for its brothels, which were located near the port. The brothels not only served the sailors, but also Athenians, many of whom were respectable citizens in the eyes of their social circle and visited these establishments secretly.


Aggelopoulos H.I., (1898), Περί Πειραιώς και των λιμένων αυτού κατά τους αρχαίους χρόνους, [About Piraeus and its ports in ancient times], Athens


Municipality of Piraeus, (d.u.), Η πόλη, Ιστορία, [The city, History],

Last visit 3/11/2013


Scientific editors’ field observation


Kotea M., (1997), Η βιομηχανική ζώνη του Πειραιά 1860-1890, [The industrial zone of Piraeus 1860-1890], Ph.D., Athens:Panteion University


Koutelakis Ch., Foskolou Α. (1991), Πειραιάς και συνοικισμοί, (μαρτυρίες και γεγονότα), [Piraeus and settlements, (testimonies and facts], Athens: Estia


Mpelavilas N., (2021), Ιστορία της πόλης του Πειραιά, 19ος και 20ος αιώνας, [The History of the City of Piraeus, 19th and 20th centuries], Alexandria Publication


Steinhauer G., (2000), Αρχαίος Πειραιάς, η πόλη του Θεμιστοκλή και του Ιπποδάμου, [Ancient Piraeus and the city of Themistokles and Hippodamus] in Πειραιάς, Κέντρο Ναυτιλίας και Πολιτισμού, [Piraeus, Centre of Shipping and Culture] Αθήνα, in Aslanidis A., (2013), Δυνατότητες Προστασίας και Ανάδειξης των Μνημείων της Πειραϊκής Ακτής και της Ζέας, [Protection and elevation potentials of the Piraeus Coast and Zea’s monuments], Dissertation, University of Athens, University of Patras, University of the Aegean