Old Athens Photos Stadiou Street.

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Stadiou Street.

Stadiou street (Stadium Street in english) before the first city plan was a dry gully three meters deep. It was nicknamed chezopotamos because it was very dirty. Walking across it was dangerous and it was scarcely populated. After every rainfall the torrent from the Lycabettus hill nicknamed as Voidopnichtis (That which drowns oxen in english), continued at its stream bed in Voukourestiou Street then at the gully of Stadiou and end at the area of Omonoia square. In 1852  after a rainstorm the only bridge at stadiou street near the todays arsakeio building was destroyed.
So in 1860 the first modern waste pipe in Athens was build below and Stadiou became a proper street.

The first city plans showed that Stadium street should be very wide and ended at the Panathenaic Stadium. Inevitably due to individual interests of the landlords it ended narrower at Syntagma square. Stadiou street used to be more important street then the later parallel Panepistimiou Street. It had many names. Phidias street from the ancient greek sculptor. Akakias street (Acacia Street in english) from the same trees at its sides. It was also name Churchill Street but the name Stadiou prevailed.

Stadiou Street Shops.

Stadiou street after the greek economic crisis is devastated. More than half of its Shops are closed permanently. It has two historical shops. The Notos Gallery (ex Lambropouloi Brothers). One of the first big department stores in Athens. The Athene women clothing store which have lost its glory for good and is struggling to survive. A few years a go Stadiou Street had many luxury clothing shops for men. Today nearly all of them are closed or moved to areas with cheaper rents. Stadiou street before 60s had mostly men clothes and Ermou street women clothes. Some old men clothe shop can been even today. They are operated by old qwners who keep them alive even with low profits.

Metochico Tameio Stratou building.

At the intersection of Stadiou Street and Voukourestiou street used to be the greek Royal Stables. The horse stables was there before the greek revolution, during the ottoman’s era. They covered the whole city block of the streets Stadiou, Voukourestiou, Panepistimiou, Amerikis. Inside the royal stables there was a chicken farm which provided eggs to the royal family. Also there was a skating floor for the young members of the royal family. in 1920 the royal stable caught fire and were vested to the greek army.
They were property of the Army and during the 20’s the use of a stable in the highly valued city center wasn’t really necessary. So the Metochico Tamio Stratou (The greek army’s fund in english) in mid 20s decided to demolish them and build a huge multipurpose art deco building. The construction began in 1927 under the designs of the architects Vasilios Kasandras and Leonidas Bonis. For its time it was the biggest building in Athens. The building site was 9,000 square meters.

It provided shops, restaurants, offices, theaters, and the legendary Zonar’s coffee shop. Karolos Zonaras was greek entrepreneur who emigrated to USA. On 15th August 1940 a few months before the greek - italian war he opened the Zonar’s coffee shop. It was successful even during the difficult years of german’s occupation. In they middle of the building is the Spiromiliou arcade. The most famous shop is the Zonar’s Coffee shop with a great history. During the 80’s and 90’s the building gradually was downgraded. The Spiromiliou arcade was a filthy chaotic car parking area and without any luxury shops. Zonar’s coffee shop was run down and was struggling to survive with a few loyal costumers. Everything changes in 1999 when the management passed to the Piraeus Bank. It was restored to its former beauty and now is one of the most luxury spots for wealthy greeks.

The building has two important theaters.

The Pallas theater and the Alliki theater. Pallas is on Voukourestiou street and began in 1932 as a movie theater. Its design was inspired by Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris.
That period cinema was new and its popularity overshadowed the theaters. Until the 60s it was a glamorous place for the high society and many cinema special events took place in it. During 80s and 90s it was run down until 2006. It was totally renovated as an excellent theater. The most expensive theatrical plays are played there.
The Aliki theater is at the opposite site of Pallas theater on Amerikis street. First in 1935 it was the music hall - cabaret Maxim like the homonymous one in Paris.
In 1949 it was transformed into a movie theater with the same name. The cinema operated until 1971. In 1971 during the dictatorship it was leased by the greek army to the very famous actress Aliki Vougiouglaki. Soon she converted it into a theater. In 1996 she died and the theater was closed. In 1999 the theater was passed to the Elliniki theamaton theater company which also operates the Pallas theater. In 2006 it was fully restored.

New Arsakeio.

New Arsakeio is a uniform complex of buildings that was based on the old Arsakeio girl’s School. It covers a city block and the streets Stadiou, Pesmazoglou, Panepistimiou and Arsaki. The old girl’s school building survived but all the other buildings in the city block were demolished in 1900. In 1907 the german architect Ernst Ziller contributed to the design of the complex. The construction was gradual and took many years until 1925. At its side on the stadiou street there are two characteristic domes at each corner. The most important constructions are: The Philoekpedeftikis Etereias building at the Pesmazoglou street. The Orpheas Arcade which few years ago used to have many shops with traveling and leather products.
The Stoa tou Vivliou (arcade of the book in english ex Orpheus movie theater) which is build in 1989 and have many small book shops. At its basement the  Theatro technis theater which was created by the theater director Carolos Kuhn in 1942 under the german’s occupation in Greece.

Arsakeio girl’s School.

It was built during 1846-1852 and designed by the greek architect Lisandros Kaftantzoglou. The cost of construction was covered by the the greek wealthy benevolent Apostolos Arsakis, hence the school’s name. It operated as a school until 1933. In 1936 at its ground floor many shops were created which was much later removed. During 1984-1989 the Arsakeio girl’s School was fully renovated.

Loumidis Coffee Shop.

The most famous coffee roaster in Greece is Loumidis. It used to be coffee shop. In 1928 the the three Loumidis brothers expanded from Piraeus and opened a coffee roaster and coffee shop at the Chafteia area near Omonoia Square. It still exists only as a coffee roaster shop in Chafteia district.
In 1938 during the dictaroship at  Stadiou street 38 was opened a new Loumidis Coffee shop. It was near the great old Estias bookshop and publishing house which had opened in 1888. It was publishing some of the most prominent greek poets and writers. Soon the nearby coffee shop became a haunt for writers, poets and journalists. At its attic many intellectuals were discussing about literature and politics. During the 60’s gradually it lost its appeal. After the dictatorship of 1967 the Estias book shop moved to the Solonos Street and the Loumidis Coffee shop closed for ever.

Old Parliament.

After the Treaty of Constantinople in 1832, Athens was liberated by Ottomans. One of the first houses in Athens, was built in the place of the old parliament in 1832 by the the Alexandros Kontostavlou. He was a banker from Chios Island. The bavarian King Otto of Greece for the first two years in Athens, leaved in that house. After the revolution of 1843 the constitutional assembly used that house. In 1854 it was totally burned.
In 1858 it was assigned to the french architect François Boulanger to design a parliament. Due to the general lack of money the old parliament was ready in 1875. The old parliament wasn’t a successful building. It wasn’t big enough to support comfortably so many members of the parliament. Its acoustics were horrible. In general it was a very noisy overcrowded place. There wasn’t no room for the employees, the visitors and the members of the parliament to relax. Everything was full of smoke and noise. Proper discussions over critical subjects were difficult. The idea of the royal palace as a parliament was inconceivably the first decades of the old parliament. In 1901 Klafthmonos square was proposed as the perfect place for a new functional parliament. That time the area wasn’t a square and the municipality of Athens preferred to be a square instead of the new parliament. Finally the plans for a new parliament were aborted, until 1932 when the old greek parliament, was replaced by the renovated greek royal palace.   Afterwards it became ministry of justice. In 1961 it was renovated and transformed into the museum of the Historical and Ethnological Society of Greece.

Attikon movie theater.

The Attikon is one of the most old and important movie theaters in Greece. After the liberation of Athens in 1832 the greek landlord and banker Stamatis Vouros bought the area where Attikon is situated. Stamatios Vouros ordered the german architect Ernst Ziller to design a building right where Attikon is. That building took a decade to be built between 1870-1881. The first floor was a residence and the ground floor shops until the 20s.

That decade the cinema became very popular. Actually the first Attikon since 1910 had been an open air movie theater. It situated very close at the backyard of the Stamatiou Vourou’s residence in Klafthmonos square. The popularity of cinema was immense and the old Attikon was moved to its present position. The building was transformed into a movie theater by the greek architect Alexandros Nikoloudis between 1914-1920. It is one of the first buildings where reinforced concrete was used in Greece.

Vital role to the success of the Attikon movie theater was the entrepreneur Girogos Vakoyiannis. He rented the building in 1920 and made it a glamourous place where the high society of Athens met to see silents movies. There in 1929 the first movie with sound “Fox Movietone Follies” was projected in Greece. The audience excitement was unbelievable. In 1930 Giorgos Vakoyiannis left Attikon which was afterwards managed by Dimitris Skouras. Soon he created at the basement of the building a second movie theater and named it Apollon.
During the german occupation it was screening german movies for the soldiers. After the end of the second war for sort periods Attikon was used as a theater and a music scene. In 1960 some major repairs and minor changes took place and in 1982 the movie theater was fully restored. After the invention of multiplex cinemas, in 1996 the equipments and the chairs was modernized. It succeeded to attract many viewers who preferred a historical and very beautiful movie theater.

In 2012 both Appolon and Attikon were destroyed by arsonists. The exterior of the building and all the shops on the ground floor are completely destroyed. Fire fighters prevented major damages inside the movie theater. The building was insured and the damages will be repaired.

Dekozi Vourou Residence.

It is at Paparigopoulou street at Klafthmonos square. It was designed by the german architects Luders and Hoffer. It was built in 1834 and was one of the first new buildings after the liberation of Athens. It belonged to the greek landlord and banker Stamatios Dekozis Vouros from the Chios island.
It situated at the limits of the ottoman Athens at the Chaseki walls. The Dakozi Vourou Residence was also know as the old Palace. When the bavarian prince Otto came to Athens to rule Greece, he stayed for two years at the Kontostavlou house (Old Paliament) and afterwards at Dekozi Vourou Residence 1834-1843 until the construction of the royal palace (now greek parliament). Nowadays is fully renovated and is part of a tree buildings complex which is the city of Athens museum. The backyard garden can’t been seen from the streets. It is big , beautiful and open to the public.

Klafthmonos square.

In front of the old greek palace ( Dekozi Vourou Residence) is the Klafthmonos square. The square is the first space in Athens where ornamental trees were planted. The Father of greek king Otto, the bavarian king Ludvig sent the bavarian garden specialist Smarat to design the space in front of the Otto’s residence.

Klafthmonos square like Kotzias square had many name changes. The greek architect Kleanthis who designed the first city plane of Athens want a theater to be built there. And proposed the name “Plateia Theatrou” (Theater’s square in english). Nevertheless  the first name of the square was “Plateia ton kipon tou paliou palatiou” (The square of the old palace’s garden in english). One of the city planers of Athens, the german architect Leo von Klenze wanted to be named “Platia Aischilou” (Aeschylus’s Square in english).
However the first greek mint where money were coined was built there in 1837. As a result the square was named “Plateia Nomismatokopiou: (The square of the mint in english). in 1838 the anniversary for the greek revolution in 25th March 1821 was celebrated there for the first time and the square was renamed “Plateia 25 Martiou” (25th March square in english). After the revolution for the greek constitution in 1943 it was renamed “Plateia Dimokratias” (Square of democracy in english). Afterwards the mint was expanded and became the greek ministry of finance. Again the square was renamed “Plateia kipou ipourgiou ikonomikon” (Square of the ministry of finance’s gardens in english). In 1878 it took its present name “Klafthmonos Square” (Square of the the lament  in english) and there is reason for that. Until 1909 every new greek government used to change the public servants with more favorable person. The fired public servants after every new elected government were going to the ministry of interior who also situated at the klafthmonos square. They were begging and crying to be reemployed. In 1989 for the last time the square changed its named “Platia ethnikis simfiliosis” (Square of the national reconciliation in english). The name was very unfavorable and didn’t last at all.

The square is at the edge of the ancient athens. The remnants of the long walls of Themistocles can be seen and they are in good condition. 

Agioi Theodoroi Church.

The church sits on the lower part of Klafthmonos square. (Saint Theodore church in english). It was built during the 11th century by the byzantine dignitary Nikolaos Kalomalos.  It has and octagonal shape and is decorated with kufic letters flowers and animals.
At the same place there was another church which was built by the Aelia Eudocia Augusta, wife of the byzantine emperor Theodosius II. The church suffered many damages during the greek war for independence. In 1840 with the aid of king Otto it was restored. In 1967 archeologists discovered sixteen graves and a mosaic floor dating to the roman era.

Old national press.

The building of the old national press is in Stadiou street and Santaroza street. It was the first national press in Athens.
It was built in 1835 and designed by the bavarian architect Joseph Hoffer. It had one floor. In 1854 it was destroyed by fire. In 1890 it was repaired and expanded with new building attached to it. It was considerably changed and expanded. In 1905 the national press was moved to Kapodistriou street. In 1931 it was converted as a court of first instance. Another one floor was added for the needs of the court. In 1984 was moved elsewhere and the most buildings of the complex were demolished. Only the main building survived for historical reasons. The area was transformed into a square.

Old Photos from Stadiou street, Stadiou street shops, metochico tamio stratou building, new arsakeio, arsakeio girl’s school, Loumidis coffee shop, old parliament, Attikon movie theater, Dekozi Vourou residence, Klafthmonos square, Agioi Theodoroi church, old national press.

1890 Athens Stadiou street and Korai street Grand Hotel de Athenes.

1890 Athens Stadiou Street Old Parliament.

1892 Athens Klafthmonos Square Agioi Theodoroi church.

1896 Athens Stadiou street.

1900 Athens Stadiou street Royal Stables.

1900 Athens Stadiou street - Old Parliament.

1900 Athens Stadiou street.

1902 Athens Stadiou Street.

1900 Stadiou Street Palace Hotel.

1905 Athens Stadiou Street and Arsaki Street Terzopoulos Paper Shop.

1908 Athens Stadiou Street.

1910 Athens Stadiou street.

1913 Athens Klafthmonos Square.

1914 Athens Stadiou Street and Amerikis Street Royal Stables.

1915 Athens Royal Stables.

1917 Athens Stadiou Street and Amerikis Street Right the Royal Stables.

1919 Athens Klafthmonos Square Navy Building.

1925 Athens Stadiou Street.

1927 Athens Stadiou Street and Aiolou Street Chafteia area.

1927 Athens Stadiou Street and Aiolou Street Chafteia area.

1927 Athens Stadiou Street and Amerikis Street Metoxiko Tamiou Stratou Building Construction.

1935 Athens Stadiou Street.

1932 Athens Stadiou Street.

1935 Athens Stadiou Street.

1937 Athens Stadiou Street Splentit and Apollon movie theaters.

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