The neoclassical Old Parliament building, designed initially by French architect Francois Boulanger, whose drawings were modified in 1863 by the architect Panagiotis Kalkos, housed the Parliament and Senate from 1875 and 1935. [Image taken from the book]

The bicentennial of the start of the Greek War of Independence has yielded a rich harvest of books in English that shed new light on this seminal event in Greek and European history.

 This eyesore on the corner of Stadiou and Aeolou streets in the middle of downtown Athens was the Katrantzos Sport department store until 1980.

In almost any other city, the area in downtown Athens known as “Hafteia” – the junction of Stadiou, Aeolou and Panepistimiou streets leading into Omonia Square that is colloquially named after a popular coffee roastery and cafe that once stood there – would be a jewel in its crown.

Left: The Kypseli Municipal Market seen from above. Right: The pre-war ‘Maiden in Ecstasy’ sculpture by Michalis Tombros gracing a fountain. [Dimitris Karaiskos]

Pedion tou Areos park to the south, the Tourkovounia hills to the east, Galatsi and Alepotrypa Hill to the north and Patission Street to the west: These form the boundaries of Kypseli, a neighborhood that was part of the countryside until Athens became the capital of Greece in 1834.

‘Housing has become a commodity and the type of ownership has changed in Greece. It remains to be seen how this alters the human geography in apartment buildings and life in Athens’ neighborhoods,’ says Harokopio University professor of social geography Thomas Maloutas. [Antony Surace]

The Athenian apartment building is a living organism whose evolution reflects broader social and economic shifts, more recently from the decade-long financial crisis, followed by Athens’ emergence as a popular tourism destination, the advent of short-term leasing, the Golden Visa program and the ensuing influx of foreign capital, before the pandemic brought a pause in – though not a halt to – some fascinating developments.


Work for the redevelopment of Panepistimiou street in central Athens began on Sunday morning. The plans will free up over 4000 square meters for pedestrians in the busy capital. The first site is located on the section of Panepistimiou between Amerikis and Sina streets and works will be ongoing until March.


A string of unexpected events have changed Athens in the 21st century, from the economic crisis in 2008 to the pandemic in 2020, and from its new human geography and the redistribution of its population around the suburbs to the tourism rebound.

Landscape architect Helli Pangalou’s portfolio includes landmarks such as the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center and the Faliro Bay revamp. [Nikos Kokkalias]

“A comprehensive plan for Athens is not something that can be done overnight. It’s a long-haul proposition that demands prioritized and orchestrated urban interventions, which then need time to mature.


The upcoming facelift of Athens, through the expected utilization and change in usage of a number of buildings, is set to considerably change the image of the capital, resulting in a property market boom, especially in certain categories.


Traffic restrictions in the center of Athens returned Monday for the first time since spring 2020, with intense traffic congestion on the roads outside restricted areas, confirming the concerns of transport specialists.


Athens Mayor Kostas Bakoyannis has dismissed criticism of the Grand Walk project unifying central parts of the city center in a network of pedestrianized roads, recalling similar reactions decades ago to work on Ermou and Dionysiou Aeropagitou streets.