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Athens is the capital city of Greece with a long history of more or less 3000 years old, filled with all kinds of historical and cultural wonders. One of the best tourist attractions in the city of Athens however is without a doubt the famous Thission neighborhood.
Thission is a small settlement located southwest of Monastiraki within a walking distance from Plaka. This historical place is named after the Great Temple of Theseus situated in Agora which was a central public place in ancient Greek city-states.
The temple got its name from Theseus, the mythical king who is said to be the founder of Athens. According to the legend, the temple was initially planned to be called “Hepthaestus’s Temple” but was mistakenly named Theseus. In any case, the neighborhood is most often called Thissio by the locals.
Discover The Thission Neighborhood in Athens
During peak season, the Thission neighborhood is full of visitors that swarm its streets to admire the charm of the Greek capital and taste its exquisite gastronomy.
Boasting a very central location in downtown Athens, Thissio is within walking distance from many other famous places that rank high on visitors’ must-see lists.
For example, starting from Thissio, you can easily reach Plaka, Kerameikos, and Monastiraki. In addition, in the northern borders of the neighborhood, you’ll find the popular main streets named Apostolou Pavlou and Dionysiou Areopagitou that are located just below the Acropolis.
Thissio is tremendously popular with locals and visitors alike and is considered one of the best tourist spots in Athens.
In older times, Athens was considered to be the “city of the blessed”. The people considered themselves as pious beings living alongside the Gods. So it was thought that the people living here were not only protected from disasters but also that all the conspiracies failed to act upon them.
An incident that took place in the middle of the 17th century which threatened to destroy the great churches of this ancient city bolstered this belief further. The Turkish commander, Yusuf Aga conspired to destroy the Christian population of the area. He planned to bomb the Christians while they were going to attend the festival of Saint Dimitrios on October 26th.
His plan was to bring all the Christian to one common point which he chose to be a small church on Pnyx Hill. He was fully determined and ready to carry out his plan on the night before the festival.
However, a huge storm hit the city that night, causing great harm to his family and himself. Athenians took this incident as proof that the city, and especially the area of Thissio was protected by the Gods from all disasters.
Things to Do and See in Thission Neighborhood
Today, Thission is one of the most popular neighborhoods in Athens. Tourists from all over the world visit this area to explore its rich history and experience the authentic Greek culture.
Apart from all the people that take a special interest in the religious past of the area and explore the old temples and religious history, Thissio also attracts the city’s foodies.
The area is surrounded by a variety of cafes, bars, taverns and restaurants, making it the ideal place for those that want to get a taste of local gastronomy by trying some authentic Greek recipes. Most of Thissio’s main streets are filled with little souvenir shops and street vendors and are ideal for long relaxing afternoon strolls.
Thissio is just a breath away from the ancient citadel of Acropolis that is located on a rocky hill in the very heart of Athens.
The Acropolis is beyond question one of the most famous attractions of Athens and reason enough for tourists to want to explore the neighborhood of Thissio that offers impeccable views of the ancient monument.
Another famous attraction is the temple of Hephaestus located at the northwest side of the Agora of Athens on top of the Agoraios Kolonos hill.
The temple is a prominent element of the area’s important religious and historical background and is definitely worth a visit.
The Athens National Observatory and the historical church of Agia Marina are also located in the area.
Thission features a wide range of Museums, Art Galleries, and other cultural spaces. Its international character has played a part in modernizing the cultural values of Greece and has served as a meeting point for locals and travelers for decades.
There is an open-air cinema in Thissio called Cine Thisio on Apostolou Pavlou street which operates during summertime, from May to September.
Check some options for things to do in and around the Thissio district:
How to Get to Thission
It’s not really difficult to get to Thissio. There are several train and metro stations that are within walking distance from its main streets. Apart from Thissio train station (green line), you can also get there in less than ten minutes via the Acropolis metro station (red line) or the Monastiraki train station (green line). If you need more info, check here how to get around Athens.
On the borders of the neighborhood towards Monastiraki, you can also easily find taxis and cabs for your transportation to and from the rest of Athens city center.
Historical Landmarks In Thission
Since ancient times, the Thission neighborhood has been connected to religion and the dedication of Athenians to the Gods. Hence, a lot of monuments and temples in the area have taken their names.
The same can be said for some of its most popular streets. Both Iraklidon and Apostlou Pavlou are picturesque pedestrian streets with many beautiful buildings, old neo-classical houses of merchants and other people that used to reside in the area. At the end of Iraklidon street is the Melina Mercouri Cultural Center named after the iconic actress Melina Mercouri.
A lot of churches are also present in the vicinity of this destination. Most notable among them are the impressive Church of Agios Dimitrios Loumbardiaris (Saint Demetrius the Bombardier) and the beautiful Church of Agia Marina which are both worth a short visit.
To sum it up, when you visit the Thission neighborhood and stroll around the backstreets around it, you’ll get a strong taste of history, culture, and gastronomy.
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