The central square in 2007
Exarcheia (Greek: Εξάρχεια) is the name of a neighborhood in downtown Athens, Greece close to the historical building of the National Technical University of Athens. The Exarcheia region is famous as a home for Greek anarchists. It took the name from a merchant named Exarchos (Greek: Έξαρχος) who opened a large general store there. Exarcheia is bordered on the east by Kolonaki and is framed by Patission Street, Panepistimiou Street and Alexandras Avenue.
Located in Exarcheia is the National Archaeological Museum of Athens, the National Technical University of Athens and Strefi Hill. The central square features many cafes and bars with numerous retail computer shops located mainly on Stournari street, also called the Greek Silicon Valley. Located on Exarcheia square is one of the oldest summer cinemas of Athens, called "Vox", as well as the Antonopoulos apartment building, known as the "Blue Building", because of its initial color, which is a typical example of the modernist movement of Greek architecture in the inter war period. Due to the political and intellectual character of the neighborhood, many bookstores, fair trade shops and organic food stores are also located in Exarcheia. Exarcheia is also known for having comic book shops.
History and political significance
The district of Exarcheia was created between 1870 and 1880 at the confines of the city and has played a significant role in the social and political life of Greece. It is there the Athens Polytechnic uprising of November 1973 took place. Exarcheia is a place where many intellectuals and artists live and an area where many socialist, anarchist, and antifascist groups are accommodated. Police stations and other symbols of authority (and capitalism) such as banks are often targets of far-leftist groups. Exarcheia is also an art hub where theatrical shows and concerts take place around the central square. In December 2008, the murder of 15-year-old Alexandros Grigoropoulos by a policeman in Exarcheia caused rioting throughout Greece. In 2015, the financial minister of Greece Yanis Varoufakis, faced attack by balaclava-bearers (koukouloforoi in Greek) while he was eating in a restaurant here. However no harm was done due to his wife Danae shielding him, and because of his diplomacy.
- Betty Arvaniti, actress
- Eleni Kastani, actress
- Sophia Philippidou, actress
- Nikolas Asimos, song-writer, singer
- City of Athens Portal, Retrieved August 23, 2007
- "Greek anarchist youths throw petrol bombs at cars outside central Athens police station", Pravda, April 26, 2007. Accessed August 23, 2007.
- "Greek police shooting sparks riot", BBC, December 7, 2008, Retrieved December 7, 2008.
- "Varoufakis assaulted by a group of youth in central Athens".
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