Agia Paraskevi
Agia Paraskevi is a suburb of Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

, Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

, in the northeast of Athens, about nine kilometers away from the city centre. It is linked to Athens by Mesogeion Avenue
Mesogeion Avenue
Mesogeion Avenue, also is an avenue connecting to Feidippou Street with service access with Kifissias, Vassilissis Sofias and Alexandras Avenue and with Marathonos Avenue at the Gerakas Street/GR-81 junction between Glyka Nera and Gerakas with an overpass. It is rarely a part of Greek National...

, a major road in the greater Athens area. It is a municipality within Attica region.


Until the 1950s, the suburb was sparsely inhabited, with most of its inhabitants practising agriculture. In the 1960s, the rapid economic development that the country was experiencing drove an influx of immigrants to the big cities, and a burst of construction activity. Thus the population of suburban Athens (and Agia Paraskevi) dramatically increased; a process that went on into the 1980s and 1990s (see table below). Today, Agia Paraskevi, like the majority of Athens' suburbs, is densely populated.

Agia Paraskevi consists of 7 districts: Kontopefko (Greek Κοντόπευκο for short pine tree, Ancient/Katharevousa Kontopefkon), Nea Zoi (Νέα Ζωή Greek for new life), Tsakos (Τσακός), Stavros, Agios Ioannis (Άγιος Ιωάννης the Greek equivalent of Saint John), Pefkakia and Paradisos (Heaven). In the downtown area lies the central Agia Paraskevi Square with a cathedral
A cathedral is a Christian church that contains the seat of a bishop...

 dedicated to the Orthodox Saint Agia Paraskevi, after whom the suburb is named.

Agia Paraskevi operates the nuclear research center Demokritos, which hosts the sole nuclear reactor
Nuclear reactor
A nuclear reactor is a device to initiate and control a sustained nuclear chain reaction. Most commonly they are used for generating electricity and for the propulsion of ships. Usually heat from nuclear fission is passed to a working fluid , which runs through turbines that power either ship's...

 in Greece. It is also home of the Greek Ministry of Agriculture
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...


The football team of the city is Agia Paraskevi F.C., but is known as "Santa", attracting devoted fans. During the Olympic games in 2004, a part of the historical Marathon passed through Agia Paraskevi in Mesogeion avenue, and this was deemed a great moment for the municipality.

1993 riot

In 1993, there was considerable opposition from inhabitants of the suburb to the construction of the Hymettus ring road. The ring road was to form a major highway on the mountainside linked directly to the Attiki Odos
Attiki Odos
Attiki Odos is a privately owned toll motorway in Greece. The Proastiakos high-speed suburban rail is set almost entirely in the median of the motorway, along its main section. The motorway's numbers are 6 for the main section, 64 for the Hymettus Beltway and 65 for the Aigaleo Beltway...

, and the construction of both the ring and Attiki Odos were to commence immediately. The realization that this plan would demand the felling of a considerable numbers of trees, as well as spurring an increase in noise pollution
Noise pollution
Noise pollution is excessive, displeasing human, animal or machine-created environmental noise that disrupts the activity or balance of human or animal life...

, predictably aroused the opposition of the local population, who requested a different solution: a covered road. However, the government would not reverse the decision and, in fact, sent bulldozers to the mountainside. This led to a riot
A riot is a form of civil disorder characterized often by what is thought of as disorganized groups lashing out in a sudden and intense rash of violence against authority, property or people. While individuals may attempt to lead or control a riot, riots are thought to be typically chaotic and...

 in April, 1993. Thousands of people travelled up the mountainside and faced the bulldozers, forcing the drivers to leave. At length police arrived and managed to force the demonstrators off the site; eventually the construction of the two highways began, and was completed in 2001. The road was covered only at a small section, that running over the Deree College
Deree College
DEREE - The American College of Greece is a private Center of Post-Lyceum Education, non-profit American institution of higher education, located in Athens, Greece. Its 64-acre main campus is located in the northeastern Athenian suburb of Aghia Paraskevi. DEREE-ACG is fully accredited by the New...



Built at the foot of mount Hymettus, Agia Paraskevi is one of the few suburbs of Athens to retain plenty of trees, and offers good opportunities for leisure activities, such as trekking, jogging
Jogging is a form of trotting or running at a slow or leisurely pace. The main intention is to increase fitness with less stress on the body than from faster running.-Definition:...

 and picnic
In contemporary usage, a picnic can be defined simply as a pleasure excursion at which a meal is eaten outdoors , ideally taking place in a beautiful landscape such as a park, beside a lake or with an interesting view and possibly at a public event such as before an open air theatre performance,...

s. A beautiful route on the mountainside leads through the pine trees, to the small monastery
Monastery denotes the building, or complex of buildings, that houses a room reserved for prayer as well as the domestic quarters and workplace of monastics, whether monks or nuns, and whether living in community or alone .Monasteries may vary greatly in size – a small dwelling accommodating only...

 of Saint John
John the Apostle
John the Apostle, John the Apostle, John the Apostle, (Aramaic Yoħanna, (c. 6 - c. 100) was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus. He was the son of Zebedee and Salome, and brother of James, another of the Twelve Apostles...

, known as "the hunter" in the area. There are spectacular views at the summit, to all Athens as far as Piraeus
Piraeus is a city in the region of Attica, Greece. Piraeus is located within the Athens Urban Area, 12 km southwest from its city center , and lies along the east coast of the Saronic Gulf....



The climatic conditions in Agia Paraskevi are typically Mediterranean: summers are hot and dry, and winters are mild. Snowfalls are not uncommon, but they don't occur every winter, while heatwaves also occur every summer, with temperatures reaching 40 or even 42 Celsius degrees. Due to these conditions, people suffering from serious illnesses were once brought here as part of their recovery process, before the great wave of urban development.


Although there is a very satisfactory highway connection, Agia Paraskevi is still poorly linked to other areas of Attica via public transport; a major reason for this is the town's geographical position. There are few bus lines leading to the center of Athens and one going to Agioi Anargyroi
Agioi Anargyroi
Agioi Anargyroi is a suburb in the northern part of Athens, Greece, named for Saints Cosmas and Damian...

. Also there are two Metro
Athens Metro
The Athens Metro is an underground rapid transit system serving Athens, the capital city of Greece. It was constructed and owned by Attiko Metro S.A. and operated until 2011 by Attiko Metro Etaireia Leitourgias S.A....

 stations that are serving the city, called Nomismatokopio and Agia Paraskevi.

Historical population

Year Population
1981 32,904
1991 47,463
2001 56,836
2011 59,500

External links

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