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The cultural diversity of Psyrri is reflected on its distinct colour graffiti inspired by a wide variety of themes.

  1. Modern and Contemporary era (1821 - )

    In the 19th century, the region becomes a state within a state.

    1893 The "tough guys" are held up to the public ridicule.

    2007 The area is gradually losing its primacy in the nightlife and artistic activity in the city.

  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

Up until the 2000s, it used to be a neighbourhood with a bad reputation that had many brothels and street crime. In the 2000s, grew fast as a nightlife and cultural hotspot. The momentum created during that decade did not last very long. However, Psyrri made a comeback and is still a tourist, gastronomic and nightlife destination with both mainstream and alternative bars, cafes, restaurants, famous patisseries and some LGBTQI-friendly venues. The signature elements of the neighbourhood are its ouzo-taverns playing Greek music. The diversity of the region is reflected on its distinct colour graffiti inspired by a wide variety of themes, especially large graffiti on the sides of buildings, which were painted with municipal consent from the City of Athens and from building owners.

What I can't see

The name of the neighbourhood is normally spelled with one “r” and derives from a resident of the area during the Middle Ages, who hailed from the island of Psara (=fisherman.) The island’s ancient name was either Psyra or Psyrii. Since the Ottoman era, the area has had mostly lower class residents. For several decades following the independence of Greece, the area was a ghetto due to “Koutsavakides,” marginalized groups that were being bribed by deputies to act as private thugs without police interference. This phenomenon was eliminated in 1893 by police chief Bairaktaris in anticipation for the 1896 Athens Olympic Games. Nowadays, the area is attracting artists and graphic design businesses.


Vassilopoulos Ch., (2011), Οι κρίσεις της Ελλάδας, [The crisis of Greece], Time Machine, ERΤ

Kairofylas G., (2000), Η ιστορία της συνοικίας του Ψυρρή, [The history of Psyrri neighbourhood], Filippotis

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.