As we were walking down Kalidromiou street in Exarchia last Saturday, which is one of the largest main streets in the neighborhood, we stumbled upon the weekly open air market .The market on Kalidromiou street is a place for locals to do their weekly grocery shopping but it is also used as an excuse to meet and get a coffee afterwards at one of the many cafes. Most of the time their randezvous doesn’t end there, the coffee drinking ritual usually turns into a tsipouro drinking late night as they get caught up in riveting conversations.
One of the buildings you can’t miss on Kalidromiou Street is the abandoned Aiolos neoclassical building. It is rather an oddity among the other buildings towering over the rest with a lost grandeur of years past. At night it almost seems haunted, exuding an eerie ambiance. Unfortunately it is not in very good condition and despite my efforts to find old pictures of the building and perhaps who it might of belonged to I have not been very successful.
At the end of Kalidromiou street we arrive at the crossroads of four streets, Kalidromiou, Ioustinianou, Oikonomou and Deligianni. This is the exact spot that the last dramatic scene of the legendary movie “Stella” starring Melina Merkouri was filmed by director Michalis Kakogiannis. Also on the corner of the streets Oikonomou and Deligianni there was a taverna named “Michalakou” that was transformed into a nightclub called “O Paradisos” (paradise) for the needs of the movie.
Kalidromiou street has a collection of various buildings ranging from old neoclassical to more modern constructions with bauhaus architecture prevalent. Despite the diversity they all manage to co-exist nicely as you can see for yourselves.
The street is at the foothills of Strefi hill and along the length of Kalidromiou there are 4 stairs that lead up to the hill top. The hill of course is visually blocked by the buildings that are situated at the foothills. You also have a distant view at the end of Kalidromiou Street of Mount Lycavitos and the 19th century Chapel of St. George situated on top.
The Exarchia neighborhood is also well known for its street art and is the preferred place for artists to convey their messages. It definitely is not a part of town that likes to be censored or constrained. Artists find it to be the perfect place to freely express themselves, create and be inspired.
Street Art by Oré Art
For all of you gaming geeks there is a real cool store on Kalidromiou street called Kaissa, that is the largest supplier of board games in Greece. The store on Kalidromiou street was the company’s first store when they started out in 1985. In the beginning they started by supplying chess boards and accessories and then slowly branched out into other board games, collectible card games, strategy games and role playing games.