Mesmerizing 1926 Photo Portraying Athenian Coffee Culture Goes Viral



A striking image shot by Greek photographer Christos Kaplanis in 1926 at Athens’ Syntagma Square has resurfaced in glorious color and has already gone viral around the globe.

The photograph, which has been retouched to add color, was apparently taken during the late morning in the summer of 1926 at a time when Greece was still reeling from the Asia Minor disaster of 1922.

It was a time when Athens, together with other Greek cities, was trying to cope socially and economically with an enormous influx of refugees from Smyrna, Pontus and elsewhere in the Greek world.

Social media users are commenting on two main things which stand out like sore thumbs to modern onlookers, the first being that the dress code at the time was so much more formal and elegant. Almost all the men seated in Syntagma Square drinking their coffee are wearing beautifully-tailored suits. And secondly, it’s hard not to notice that there are only three women among the hundreds of men.

Clearly, it was a time well before the onset of women’s liberation in Greece. In any event, It is a beautiful photograph of a lost time in Athens, a time when life was was a great deal slower — and much more elegant.