Wait! Don’t start yet! Put some –appropriate- music on first!
My walks in the center of Athens, when the sunlight has not yet been lost, almost always end up in Anafiotika, this tiny island neighborhood, perched on the rock of the Acropolis. I don’t know if it’s because I love the Cycladic images associated in my mind with relaxed mood and pleasure or because it is a time capsule district, a dip in the past, when all the neighbors gathered in a yard as a family. Probably both.
Every time I am at Anafiotika, I get lost in the tiny whitewashed streets that make more intense the color of the flowering bushy bougainvilleas and the blue windows. Here time seems to stop, perhaps to sniff the little pots with basil or play with the innumerable cats lying in the tiny windows of houses with the white embroidered curtains. However it certainly can not skip the path with the colorful graffiti.
This picturesque neighborhood was created, as indicated by its name, in the 19th century by workers from the Greek island Anafi in Cyclades, who arrived in Athens to work as builders to rebuild the city and construct Otto’s palaces. Then, the King told them to choose where they would like to live. They chose the Acropolis because reminded them of the Castle, the heart of their island and built their houses as they knew, according to Cycladic architecture. Of course the building there was illegal but they had on their side the tolerance of the authorities.
In 1970, the Greek authorities demolished twenty “Anafiotika” houses and expropriated the rest. Today sixty houses are left over. Fifteen of them scrutinized by the Archaeological Service and forty-five are inhabited by sixty residents and four children. Luckily something is left of this beauty of the past! An island dose in the Athens center. The dose we need when holidays are far away.
If you follow me on Instagram (@polinetta_) you might also noticed some of these photos that are always on my happy dreams…
Photos taken by me
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