PLAKA, Presentation

Audio File length: 2.27
English / USA Language: English / USA

Hi, my name’s Jill, and I’m your personal guide. Along with MyWoWo, I’d like to welcome you to one of the Wonders of the World: the Plaka neighborhood, the most traditional and appealing in Athens.

If you’re looking for little side streets where you can enjoy the most genuine, characteristic atmosphere of Athens, Plaka is the place for you. This neighborhood, at the foot of the Acropolis, is without doubt the most typical of the city, and well worth a stroll to discover its hidden treasures.

Inhabited for seven thousand years, the neighborhood offers an incredible variety of winding little lanes, balconies embellished with bougainvillea, geranium and jasmine flowers and, above all, of bars, little tourist shops, restaurants, cafés and taverns, busy at all times of day and evening.

The most authentic heart of Plaka, where I suggest you take an aimless wander, is made up of narrow, picturesque little lanes, often linked by tiny flights of steps, which climb up along the slopes of the Acropolis in a delightfully disorderly manner. Despite the unstoppable flow of tourists, here you can still find an atmosphere reminiscent of the early 19th century, the last years of Turkish domination.

It’s worthwhile seeking out the hidden internal courtyards, the external steps leading up to shaky, little balconies overflowing with the bougainvillea and jasmine flowers I mentioned earlier, the tiny gardens and the simple, yet appealing, facades of the houses.

Here you’ll also find some delightful Byzantine churches, such as the Agios Nicholas Rangavas, one of the most beautiful in the city, built in the 11th century by the noble Rangavas family, or the Metochi Panaghiou Tafou, from the Ottoman period. This church is one of the most famous in Athens, because it hosts the Good Friday processions. The main Russian Orthodox church, meanwhile, is dedicated to Saint Nicodemus, and was founded in 1850, built over the remains of an earlier church dating to 1031.

 

Let me leave you with an interesting fact: you can’t leave Athens without trying Retsina, the typical local wine, the joy of the local inhabitants in Ancient times. If you find the right place – preferably a tavern frequented by the locals – you’ll feel as if you’ve been carried away for a moment from the chaos of the present, back to the timeless atmosphere of a place that was sacred to the gods.

 

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