Monastiraki is an Athenian district around of Monastiraki Square, close to the districts of Psiri, Plaka and Thission. Its name is derived from the old church located on the square, at the intersection of Athenas streets and Ermou. It is a central and very lively square of Athens, whose restoration was completed in 2008. The square redevelopment work was part of the nested bed of Iridanos River, which springs from Lycabettus Hill and flows into the Ilissos, and is one of three rivers – along the Kifissos and Ilissos – that irrigate Attica from prehistoric times. Furthermore, Tsisdarakis mosque, built in the 18th century with materials from older buildings and ancient fragments, which now houses collections of the Museum of Greek Folk Art.
Monastiraki is widely known for the flea market and for the Sunday bazaar, called in neighbooring Abyssinia Square, famous for its antique shops. Today, most stores in Monastiraki are converted to tourist shops and clothing.
Thissio is a small area of Athens which is located northwest of the Acropolis. The area took its name from the Temple of Hephaistos or Hephaisteion, which is located on the northwest side of the Ancient Agora and they mistakenly called “Thiseio”. The temple was transformed during the Byzantine period in the Christian church, dedicated to St. George, without being specific external changes and operated until 1835, which contributed to the good preservation of the monument.
Today, Thissio is a recreation center for the Athenians and tourists as many restaurants, cafes and businesses operate in the region.
While you are in Monastiraki square we encourage to spare some time and have a look at the clear dome situated on the square and you will notice there is a river flowing just underneath the square! It is called Iridanos river which starts flowing from Lycabetous hill all the way down to Keramikos archaeological site and until 138 A.C it was an open flowing river across Athens. Iridanos is one out of the three rivers crossing Athens namely Iridanos, Kiffisos and Ilissos
If you want to learn more about this district join us on our free walking tour! See details here.
The eurekAthens team!