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"Anafiotika - and island without a sea." Anafiotika Tip by janbeeu

Anafiotika, Athens: 5 reviews and 14 photos

by janbeeu

The most surprising section in Plaka is Anafiotika. It is located directly under the north section of the Acropolis. It is said that the Delphic oracle forbade the entire area from being built, perhaps to protect the sanctity of the worship site. There were, however, those who sought shelter in this neighbourhood of Plaka, such as refugees from the Peloponnesian war in antiquity, or even Ethiopian slaves who hid in caves during the Ottoman period; followed by workers and craftsmen who arrived from the Cycladic island of Anafi after Greece gained its independence. This, in fact, is how the name Anafiotika came about.

This section of Plaka actually creates the impression of an island with its small white-washed houses built amidst the rocks, narrow meandering steep streets and steps, stone walls and gardens filled with flowers. According to tradition, the first builders of the area, during the modern era, were two homeless workers from Anafi who smuggled the necessary building materials and built two rooms for their families in a matter of days. When police arrived on the scene, they didn't have the heart to send them away. The same method was followed by the rest of the Anafi islanders as well as other newcomers, the majority of which were skilled craftsmen, builders and marble cutters who worked at the numerous construction sites throughout Athens.

These workers managed to build their simple and functional homes during the night, without copying the neo-classical structures they built during the day. The craftsmanship of the skilled workers, who paid special attention to the district's terrain and the endless horizon as seen from the northern side of the Acropolis, was responsible for the beauty of this small neighbourhood in Plaka.

Address: North slope of the Acropolis
Directions: Metro station: Acropolis or Monastiraki

Review Helpfulness: 0.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Jul 18, 2005
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