The Orientalist's Walk
Wealthy Europeans of the 18th and early 19th centuries made a cultural pilgrimage to France and Italy in search of art, architecture, culture and the roots of Western civilization. Greece, still under Ottoman rule, was the destination of the more adventurous and daring. Follow the itinerary of these adventurers to unveil the little known Oriental history of Athens.
Walk in a nutshell
This is a meandering walk that besides getting you to some major sites it will lead you though the city’s lesser-seen historic side streets offering a different perspective of the city. The route takes in splendid ruins of classical antiquity, Byzantine places of worship, stately Ottoman mansions, and neoclassical edifices. This walk will also lead you to the milestones of same sex culture through selected excerpts of the available literature.
"Maid of Athens! I am gone. Think of me, sweet! when alone. Though I fly to Istambol, Athens holds my heart and soul"
-Lord Byron, Maid of Athens.
Almost a century ago, 24-year-old Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, the future Le Corbusier,
saw the Acropolis in Athens for the first time. This was an essential step in his ‘Voyage d’Orient’, a legendary journey to the East in search of the fundamentals of architecture.
Le Corbusier will visit Athens again in 1933 during the fourth CIAM (International Congresses of Modern Architecture), in the wake of which prominent Greek architects established a close contact to the leading figures of Modernism.
Walk in a nutshell
This tour takes in fine examples of modernist architecture that began to appear courtesy of a school of architects
who had drunk at the Le Corbusier table throughout their professional careers. Focusing on the boroughs of Exarchia and Kolonaki,
where an unusually rich collection of modern buildings can be found, we will discuss the efforts of Greek architects to combine the contemporary
international trends with a signature of Greek expression.
“The humble houses of the Greek Islands are the archetypes of our modern architecture”
Anastasios Orlandos, Professor of History at the NTUA
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