Anafiotika (Greek: Αναφιώτικα pronounced [a.nafço.ti.ka]) is a scenic little neighborhood of Athens, part of the old historical neighborhood called Plaka. It lies in the north side of the Acropolis hill. The first houses were built in the era of Otto of Greece, when workers from the island of Anafi came to Athens in order to work the construction workers in the refurbishment of King Othon’s Palace. The first two inhabitants were listed as G. Damigos, carpenter, and M. Sigalas, construction worker. Soon, workers from other Cycladic islands also began to arrive there, to work carpenters or even stone and marble workers, in a further building reconstruction period in Athens, but also in the following era after the end of the reign of King Otto.

In 1922, Greek refugees from Asia Minor also established here, altering the population that was up to that time only from the Cycladic islands. In 1950, part of this neighborhood was destroyed for archeological research and in 1970 the state began to buy the houses. In the modern era, there are only 45 remaining houses, while the little streets from Stratonos to the Acropolis rock are still unnamed and the houses are referred to as “Anafiotika 1”, “Anafiotika 2”, etc.

The neighborhood was built according to typical Cycladic architecture, and even nowadays it gives visitors the feel of Greek islands in the heart of the city, with white walls and small spaces, usually with the presence of bougainvillea flowers. Houses are small and mostly cubic, small streets that often end up to ladders or even deadends at terraces, where one can sit and enjoy the night view of the city. “In this oasis of tranquility, nestled beneath the walls of the Acropolis, the intensity of Athens seems thousands away” …

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