Athens Center


Tourists walk through Monastraki flea market in Athens

Monastiraki square, Athens Travel Guide, Greece, classic Athens center

Monastiraki square is situated at the center of Athens Greece near to archaeological findings. In addition the area is around historic districs of Athens classic center. Such districts are Thiseio, Acropolis, Psyri and Plaka. Monastiraki square surrounds the whole area and magnetizes greek travelers and tourists. It is also very near the famous commercial street of Ermou, south of Syntagma square. The square was recently paved with mosaic “flows” of marble, stone and wrought iron. Churches in Greece always magnetize the interest. The area took its name from the little Byzantine chapel (10 th c AD) which is in Monastiraki square. The chapel was a monastery until Greek Independence (1821) . During the Frankish rule (13 th - 14 th Cad) Catholics operated the chapel. Therefore it was under the ownership of Nikolaos Mponefatsi. Nowdays the chapel is a parish church dedicated to Virgin Maria.

Athens Flea market, Shopping greek souvenirs near to Acropolis of Athens

Go for shopping to Athens Flea Market near to Monastiraki square. The entrance is on Hephaestou street which is next to Monastiraki metro station. Here has the visitor the opportunity to buy handmade leather shoes, bags and jewellery. Additionally there is a great variety of musical instruments, woodmade products, byzantine icons. Morover you can buy souvenirs such as T- shirts, postcards, statues copied from ancient ones. The majority of the products are low cost items. If you turn right at the end of Hephaestou street you will find shops that sell hand - books.  While if you turn left you will meet St Phillip’s church (9 th c A.D). The walk around Monastiraki square is very enjoyable.

Monastiraki square, Greece restaurants, Souvlakis, Taste Greek food

You should taste souvlaki kebab made of beef or doner & gyros made of pork or chicken. Surely food from greece is special within the mediteranean. You can find these traditional meals in the taverns on Monastiraki square with direction to Mitropoleos street. Definitely Souvlaki is delicious, popular and cheap greek food.

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Monastiraki square and nearby Attractions, Tzistarakis Mosque

Also in Monastiraki square there is the Tzistaraki Mosque (1759). The Ottoman commander of Athens Voevod Tzistaraki builted the mosque. After the establishment of the Greek state in 1834 the building functioned as a barrack and as a prison. In 1924 the building hosted a museum of handicrafts and later on accomodated the museum of Folk Art. In 1973 the permanent collection and the offices were moved to 17 Kydathinaion street. Vasilis Kyriazopoulos donated a collection of pottery to the Tzistarakis Mosque. The Mosque continues to host since today these ancient findings. The pottery mainly came from Asia Minor.

About the rail network around Monastiraki square , Metro Athens

In 1895 the first athens station functioned in the area around Monastiraki square . The ground line connected Monastiraki to Piraeus harbor. The new underground Athens metro line connects Monastiraki with the Athens International Airport “ Eleutherios Venizelos”. During the construction of the metro there were problems due the proximity with the riverbed of the ancient river Eridanos*. The expansion of the ancient city of Athens below of earth and the constructions disappeared the river.  The only spots that the river comes to the surface is in the area of Monastiraki square station and Kerameikos.

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Shopping in Monastiraki Flea Market.

Just off Hephaestou street, Avysinias Square consists another interesting flea market. Right here have collectors the opportunity to buy original antique items, paintings and old books of special editions. Additionally outdoor small vendors sell second - hand items in low price every Sunday.

Walk through the pedestrian of Pandrosou street that connects the Cathedral of Athens with Tzistaraki Mosque near to Monastiraki square. Many shops that sell touristic items are on Pandrosou street that are mainly family enterprises. The visitor has the opportunity to buy traditional products, antiques, jewelers, leather items and gallery.

The river Eridanos

The river Eridanos is about an ancient stream that emanated from Lycabettus hill. Therefore the stream flowed through Kolonaki, the current square of Syntagma and next the Mitropoleos street to Monastiraki. Furthermore the river was heading outside the city of Kerameikos to the point that meets Sacred Gate. The river flows emptied to the river of Ilissos to the point that meets Piraeus street. During the archaic period owing to the urban expansion of Athens the waste of the city outflowed to the stream. Consequently the river became soon a mire. During the emperor Adrianos (117 – 138 A.D) a bricklayer misty covered the stream and it transformed it into a sewer.

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