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Plaka District

Plaka is the oldest district in Athens. Actually was the only district until the liberation of Athens from Ottomans. Plaka has still the oldest houses of athens and is full of archeological remnants. The name “Plaka” is an arvanitic word. Arvanitic is a descendent of albanian language. During the 16th century the ottomans promote the transfer of arvanites from Argonafplia to Athens. The habitants were named Gagaroi which is also an arvanitic word. The word derives from “Vagaris” meaning retired mercenary. At the point of the Lysikratous monuments french capuchins in 1658 built a monastery which much later offered hospitality to lord Byron.

Anafiotika neighborhood during the ottomans rules was named “Mavres Petres” (Black stones in english) due to the black north african slaves who lived there.

Menderses was a ottoman seminary at the Plaka district. Its center gate still survives. During King Otto rule it was converted into a jail.

Hill elementary school.

It is the oldest elementary school in Greece. It started as a girls school in 1831 before Athens was the capital city of Greece. It was founded by the american missionary John Hill and his wife Fanny Francis Mulligan. A few years later it became a boardinghouse too. The first years it situated into a ottoman tower at the Aerides district. Afterwards it moved to Thoukididou street and Navarchou Nikodimou street. Since then its position hasn’t been changed. Circa 80 years ago the smaller old building was demolished. A new one, more practical was built and it operates until now. The elementary school is a private one and the fees are quite hight. The admission of new student is difficult and in most times it happens by lot. It is the only private school at the center of Athens. The management of it, is still at the hands of the Hill’s ancestors. Its students are from all areas of Athens and suburbs.

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1977 Athens Plaka District Mnisikleous street

1986 Athens Double-decker bus Bus rare

1977 Athens Plaka District Mnisikleous street Bouat

Athens Neon Coffee Shop

Place of the of the photos on the map. View larger map.