Piraeus: Hidden urban stories is about a city where it pays to walk. Hidden among the apartment buildings of contemporary Piraeus, lie unexpected stories of the people who transformed this place from a wilderness to an exciting industrial and commercial center ... More info ›
Piraeus: Hidden urban stories is about a city where it pays to walk. Hidden among the apartment buildings of contemporary Piraeus, lie unexpected stories of the people who transformed this place from a wilderness to an exciting industrial and commercial center. This tour takes you back to 19th-century Piraeus and enables you to discover the unforgettable secrets of Greece’s largest port.
This is a self-guided mobile tour provided by our tour-guide app. The tour is based on an award-winning storytelling concept and the fascinating narratives prepared by handpicked destination experts. Enjoy this multilingual tour by using your smartphone or tablet at your own pace, even if you are offline. The interactive map on your screen will guide you step by step to explore all the points of interest along your route. Each stop comes with a selection of signature stories, allowing you to tailor this experience to your personal interests and schedule.
If you do not arrive by boat, the traditional way to come to Piraeus is by train. But not just any train. The line that connects downtown Athens to the port opened in 1869. The Piraeus central station is an impressive eclectic building that adapted to the Greek reality the European model of a big metallic apsidal dome with a glass ceiling. It is a miniature of Milan’s central rail station.
Since Piraeus was both a port and a thriving industrial town, there are many imposing buildings that commemorate both of these functions. The neoclassical Post Office cum Customs Office cum Telegraph Office was almost never used because the municipality refused to pay a paltry amount demanded for rent. The Municipal Theater seemed destined to always be under construction since each new municipal authority had something different in mind regarding the building’s plan and use. The Church of Hagia Triada became infamous over its terribly poor construction, was destroyed during a German bombardment and was rebuilt with funds provided by a surcharge on municipal bus fares. The Kleanthis storehouses caused a sensation back in the day with their impressive design and luxurious building materials but are now in a dilapidated condition. Don’t wait too long, for you may get there too late to find them still standing!
But, of course, it is the private mansions of the wealthy industrialists and merchants of Piraeus that still capture our imagination. The Metaxas Mansion was partially funded by one of the most successful Greek export commodities, the famous Metaxas brandy. The Strigkos Mansion is the definitive proof that working for 16 hours every day can pay off. The Patsiadis Mansion is the only surviving building of the so-called “Neighborhood of Mansions,” created by the famous architect Ernst Ziller.
To take this self-guided tour you will need to download Clio Muse app on your iOS or Android device.
- Alexandras Square, named in honour of the daughter of King George I, who died after the birth of her son. The boy grew up to take part in the assassination of the infamous Russian mystic peasant and faith healer Grigori Rasputin
- the impressive building of the Maritime Retirement Fund, divided between two different owners (a state of affairs that accounts for the differences in colour and cleanliness)
- the Hadjikiriakio Orphanage, immortalized by the rebetika song writer Yiannis Gogos who wished to abduct a dark-haired girl!