Athens after ancient Athens. 20 minor but illuminating sites for the lost visitor (book)
A city with many hidden treasures
Athens was largely destroyed during the Revolution. Thus, apart from the ancient monuments and churches, almost all the old buildings date after Independence.
But among them subsist some buildings-witnesses of the Ottoman Athens. Their rarity makes them even more valuable.
Some of these buildings are known, some aren’t.
Here I present them in the order you’ll encounter them in a tour in Athens.
Bourgeois dwelling of Ottoman times
Tripodon Street. Typical house of the 18th century. Here the backyard, with the hayat (loggia).
The hayat served as a corridor and balcony. As a corridor, it allowed communication between rooms. As a balcony, it allowed one to benefit from the sun during the winter months, under the protection of a roof.
After Independence, they added the glass panes and its usefulness grew.
Bourgeois dwelling after Independence. Neoclassical in front, traditional in the back
Tripodon Street. This house was built after the Revolution. But it’s a typical transitional sample: from the architecture of the Ottoman times to the architecture of Independence.
The facade, seen from the street, is the official part of the house. This was neoclassical because Classicism symbolised two things: Europeanization and connection to the ancient past. Exactly what liberated Greece desired.
The rest of the house, however, was traditional. It had an inner courtyard and a hayat (loggia). This architecture was adapted to the Greek climate and served the daily needs better.
The rest of the article, in this book
About the author
Hello! I am Denis, an architect based in Athens, Greece. I teach history of art and architecture in higher education. That’s one passion of mine. The other one is hiking, in and out of town. If you follow me, I’ll share my discoveries with you.
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