Windows, dragons and doors

 

 

In the Exarchia neighborhood in the center of Athens, doors and windows are not your usual boring and conventional.

 

Exarchia  is a vibrant collage of old neoclassical buildings, bauhaus architecture, art-deco stylings and colorful street art, usually accompanied by an anti-austerity message. The various cafés and restaurants situated on Exarchia square and in the wider vicinity have an open leftist character and a strong community vibe.

 

 

 

Street art by Oré Art and WD street art

 

 

 

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Urban Encounters

These images just give a glimpse of what you can meet when strolling down the streets in the center of Athens. Sometimes you might stumble upon bird cages hanging in a window above graffiti tagged walls and then you might find super Mario with his brother Luigi protruding from the pavement. You can never really know what you might discover while walking in the streets of the city center, just keep your eyes open for the hidden and unexpected.

Photos are courtesy of Yiorgos check out his instagram page yiorgon, he has a pretty cool gallery!

The street art in the Praksitelous Arcade photo is by Oré Art 

Welcome!

Welcome to Bold Athens this is a blog about the city of Athens, Greece, my main intent is to show you how wonderful Athens can truly be through informative walks, interesting buildings and places that have caught my eye. The blog categories are Walks, Buildseeing (a play on the words Buildings and Sightseeing :-)), and Bits n’ places (just places and things that i think are worthy of praise).

Why Bold? I guess it just seemed fitting for a city like Athens that shows unwavering resilience and beauty despite some of her shortcomings, as long as you are bold enough to look in the right places!

As the saying goes “luck always favors the bold”

Bauhaus Architecture in Athens

Bauhaus architecture which was first introduced in the 1920’s in Germany has survived in quite a few areas in Athens, these are some good examples of the Bauhaus movement.

A little info on the Bauhaus buildings, generally, they have flat roofs, smooth façades and simple lines steering clear of excessive designs and decorations.  The colors that are mostly used on buildings are white, gray, beige, or black. The Bauhaus aesthetic is mainly based on simple geometric shapes and the use of primary colors i.e red, blue and yellow and focuses on functionality of a design rather than decoration.

Sources: wikipedia 

Asty68

Asty68

Asty68 is a quiet place for drinks and a late night bite in the artsy and hip Gkazi neighborhood in the center of Athens. A good choice even on Monday’s since it is among the few restaurants that are open in Athens.

Peonia Teahouse

Afternoon Tea

Peonia is a hidden little teahouse near the busy Thisio pedestrian street in the center of Athens, situated in a beautiful neo-classical building. It offers a wide variety of black, red, white and green teas along with various herbal infusions with berries and spices.

Recommended tea: Red Square

Tip: Visit after a long walk around Thisio and the Acropolis for an early afternoon tea

Update: Peonia Tea House is permanently closed

Athens during WWII Walk

This is a World War II walk of Athens city center starting out at Korai Square where the Ethniki insurance company building is situated and served as the German headquarters during the occupation. The WWII walk is recommended by our local walk lover and World War II enthousiast Andreas G. with 7 places of interest to visit within the city center.

A. The Historical Legacy Site 1941-1944,  situated in the basement of the building of “Ethniki” insurance company at number 4, Korai Square, was used as an interrogation center and detention facility both by the Italians and the Germans. It was an air raid shelter built in the mid 30’s and is now primarily used as a museum with free admission and theatrical plays take place from time to time.

B. Parnasos Literary Society

This building was used during World War II by the Germans who conducted Military Tribunals against citizens that had allegedly violated the austere Nazi Penal Code of that era.

C. Ministry of Transport / “Public” building at Constitution Square 

From this building on the 18th October 1944 the prime minister Georgios Papandreou of the newly established Greek government of “National Unity” gave his liberation speech.

D. On December 3, 1944 in Constitution Square, less than 2 months after the Germans had retreated, a massive pro-EAM (National Liberation Front) rally took place against the government forces. The rally ended violently when Greek government gendarmes, with British forces standing in the background, opened fire on the unarmed demonstrators, killing roughly 28 demonstrators and injuring dozens. These killings signaled the beginning of the “Dekemvriana” events (3rd December 1944 – 11th January 1945)

E. Metochiko Tamio Stratou 

The Greek Army’s Headquarters were situated in the Metochiko Tamio Stratou Building on Panepistimiou Street, close to the Hotel Grande Bretagne on Constitution Square during 1940-1941. Lt. General Ronald Scobie set up his III corps HQ in the same building in 1944 after the liberation.

F. The commemorative plaque on the facade of the building of the Bank of Greece in memory of the 3 University Students (3 girls aged 17,19 and 20) that were killed while demonstrating by German Nazi Tanks on 22nd July 1943.

G. Exarcheia, 47 Didotou Street 

The building at number 47 on Didotou Street was chosen as a military base by ELAS (The National People’s Liberation Army), the military arm of the left-wing National Liberation Front (EAM) during the “Dekemvriana”  (December Events) of WWII in Athens. The building was chosen as a temporary base for ELAS since it was situated directly opposite the ” Chimeio” (State Laboratory) building which was the temporary military operations base of the group Organization X, also known as “Chítes“, the extreme right paramilitary militia group, and many battles between the two opposite groups took place in the area.