The Dream Quarter
Following the Greco-turkish war of the 1920s numerous Greek populations from Asia Minor sought refuge in the areas behind the southern slopes of Philopappos Hill. In the decades that followed both big and smaller scale social housing projects attempted to gradually ameliorate the living conditions of the newcomers. Today the whole quarter of Petralona bears witness to the aspirations of a subculture that lived in the shade of the “Greek Marvel” of the ’60s.
Stroll in a nutshell
Starting off at scenic Thissio, this stroll works as a time capsule unfolding the various standpoints of the Athenian psyche. The highlight remains the shantytown of Asyrmatos, a peaceful neighbourliness that has become part of the popular culture as the utopia of broken dreams and shattered hopes (Quartier Le Reve / Synikia To Oneiro, 1961).
• Thissio • Petralona • Philopappou
Stroll duration: approx. 2h 30min
Meeting point: Avissinias Square, in front “Lukumi” bar (exact location here)
‘I’m a worker full of honour,
Just like all the rest of us.
And a skilfull craftsman,
like a lion put to work.
I will build for you a house
filled with steps and full of ladders.
So that you’ll go up and down
and you’ll give me winks and charms.’
Lyrics from “Proud Worker” (Ergatis Timimenos), a song written in 1935 by Panayotis Tountas, a refugee from Asia Minor who settled in Athens and became a famous songwriter.