Built around the slopes of the Acropolis, Plaka is a place full of narrow labyrinthine streets and neoclassical architecture.
The neighborhood lays exactly on top of the residential areas of the ancient city of Athens and due to its proximity to the Acropolis and its many archaeological sites, is also known as the “neighborhood of the Gods”.
Dotted with little churches, most of them dating back to the 11th century, where services continue to be held until today, Plaka is the place where the vibes of the antiquity meet Greece’s medieval spiritual tradition.
The French doctor and archaeologist, Jacob Spon, was the first person to ever record the toponym “Plaka” in the 17th century. The name derives from the Greek word plax that means flat.
During the Ottoman occupation of Greece, Plaka was known as the “Turkish quarter of Athens”, and held the seat of the Ottoman governor of the region.
In 1884 a tragic incident occurred. A fire burned down the majority of the neighborhood. However, the fire’s destruction gave the opportunity to archaeologists to conduct excavations in the Roman Market and Hadrian’s library.
Indeed, excavations have proven that Plaka’s main Adrianou Street is the oldest street in Athens that is still in continuous use with precisely the same layout since antiquity.
Modern-day Plaka is visited by hundreds of thousands of tourists every year, making it one of the most popular and famous places of Athens.