Kamatero is a suburb northwest 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....

. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Agioi Anargyroi-Kamatero, of which it is a municipal unit. It is located about 10 kilometres northwest of Athens and north of 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....



Although the oldest known archaeological finds in Kamatero date to the 4th century BC, the area west of Athens is known to have been inhabited since at least the Bronze Age
Bronze Age
The Bronze Age is a period characterized by the use of copper and its alloy bronze as the chief hard materials in the manufacture of some implements and weapons. Chronologically, it stands between the Stone Age and Iron Age...

. Specifically, a Mycenaean
Mycenaean Greece
Mycenaean Greece was a cultural period of Bronze Age Greece taking its name from the archaeological site of Mycenae in northeastern Argolis, in the Peloponnese of southern Greece. Athens, Pylos, Thebes, and Tiryns are also important Mycenaean sites...

 tholos tomb has been found in the neighbouring municipality of Acharnai
Acharnes is a suburb of Athens, Greece. It is the most populous municipality in East Attica. Much of the area north of the area are the forested Parnitha ranges and the parkland. The municipality is north of the Greater Ring of Athens. It is located about 10 km due north of Athens.In...

. In classical times, the area of modern Kamatero was under the authority of the polis
Polis , plural poleis , literally means city in Greek. It could also mean citizenship and body of citizens. In modern historiography "polis" is normally used to indicate the ancient Greek city-states, like Classical Athens and its contemporaries, so polis is often translated as "city-state."The...

 of Athens. According to Traill, the area of Kamatero was the location of the ancient deme
In Ancient Greece, a deme or demos was a subdivision of Attica, the region of Greece surrounding Athens. Demes as simple subdivisions of land in the countryside seem to have existed in the 6th century BC and earlier, but did not acquire particular significance until the reforms of Cleisthenes in...

 of Eupyridae.

Possibly the oldest archaeological find in Kamatero is an ancient wall on the ridge of Mt. Aigaleos
Egaleo (mountain)
Aegaleo , also Aigaleo and Egaleo, is a mountain in Greece. It is situated west of Athens, southeast of Eleusis, east of the island of Salamis and northwest of Piraeus. Most of the mountain is rocky. It is shorter than Hymettus...

 above the modern settlement. As described by McCredie, the wall is 0,60 to 0,90 m. thick, and "seldom preserved to the height of half a metre". McCredie considers it to be a military fieldwork, and, given that it runs to the southeast of the ridge's crest, deems it to be meant as a defence towards that direction, i.e. the direction of Athens. Thus, and also due to "its extremely light construction", he concludes that it was built as a temporary defence for a force invading Athens. He notes that "it might represent the last easily defencible point before entering the plain of Athens itself". McCredie speculates that the wall was built to block the relatively easy route through Mt. Aigaleos (and on towards Eleusis and Boetia) that passes at that point. As far as the dating of the wall is concerned, McCredie concedes that it is impossible to be indepently dated. However, he believes it was built on the occasion of the same invasion as two other walls in Attica
Attica is a historical region of Greece, containing Athens, the current capital of Greece. The historical region is centered on the Attic peninsula, which projects into the Aegean Sea...

: one in the Thriasian plain
Thriasian Plain
The Thriasian Plain is a plain in western Attica, immediately to the west of Athens, in Greece. It is bounded by Mount Egaleo to the east, Mount Parnitha to the north, Mount Pateras to the west, and the Bay of Eleusina to the south.-History:...

, and another, more famous one (known as the Dema) bridging the gap between Mt. Aigaleos and Mt. Parnes
Mount Parnitha is a densely forested mountain range north of Athens, the highest on the peninsula of Attica, with an elevation of 1,413 m and a summit known as Karavola...

. The Dema can be independently dated to the second half of the 4th century BC, or possibly the first half of the 3rd. Thus, McCredie considers it likely that the Kamatero wall also dates to the 4th or 3rd century BC.

Medieval and Ottoman era

The place name 'Kamatero' does not appear in any Byzantine
Byzantine usually refers to the Roman Empire during the Middle Ages.Byzantine may also refer to:* A citizen of the Byzantine Empire, or native Greek during the Middle Ages...

 records. However, it has been proposed that the name of the settlement derives from the prominent Byzantine Kamateros
The Kamateros or Camaterus were a Byzantine family of functionaries from Constantinople that became prominent in the 10th–12th centuries. Several family members were scholars and literary patrons. The feminine form of the name is Kamatera ....

 family. Proponents of this theory fail to identify a specific member of the family after whom the settlement would have been named; for instance, according to Sarris, the placename is derived "from a Byzantine family name by some Kamateros". An alternative view has been proposed by Fourikis: he proposes that the name is derived from the common noun καματερό (/kamate'ro/), meaning "a plot of hard land that is tilled with toil". He notes that similar place names exist in Rhodes
Rhodes is an island in Greece, located in the eastern Aegean Sea. It is the largest of the Dodecanese islands in terms of both land area and population, with a population of 117,007, and also the island group's historical capital. Administratively the island forms a separate municipality within...

 (Kamateri) and Salamis
Salamis Island
Salamis , is the largest Greek island in the Saronic Gulf, about 1 nautical mile off-coast from Piraeus and about 16 km west of Athens. The chief city, Salamina , lies in the west-facing core of the crescent on Salamis Bay, which opens into the Saronic Gulf...

 (Kamatero), noting especially of the latter that it is a location known for its infertile ground. Thus, he concludes that the place name is derived from a property of the soil, as opposed to the house of Kamateros. To reinforce his position, Fourikis notes that (as previously noted) the place name Kamatero is not attested in any Byzantine era documents. He concedes however that the placename may possibly be derived from a modern family name Kamateros, which may in its turn be Byzantine in origin.

There is little that can be said about Kamatero, as separate from the rest of Attica, during the medieval and Ottoman
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 era. One thing of note is that, starting from some point in time that is difficult to establish with certainty, and lasting up until the modern era, the Greek language was supplanted by Arvanitic as the primary means of communication in Kamatero (as well as the surrounding areas). This is supported by census data from the 19th and 20th centuries. It has been noted that Arvanitic remained the language of everyday communication in Kamatero at least until the interbellum years.

From the Greek War of Independence and through the 19th century

The first known reference to the settlement, using the name Kamatero, is from the Memoirs of General Makrygiannis, written in the 19th century. The settlement is mentioned in connection to the Battle of Kamatero
Battle of Kamatero
The Battle of Kamatero was fought on the night of February 5, 1827 in Kamatero, Greece between the Ottoman forces of Reşid Mehmed Pasha and Greek irregulars led by French Colonel Denis Bourbaki ....

, which took place in 1827, at which time a village by that name was already extant in the area. The battle itself was part of the Greek War of Independence, and ended in a Turkish
Ottoman Turks
The Ottoman Turks were the Turkish-speaking population of the Ottoman Empire who formed the base of the state's military and ruling classes. Reliable information about the early history of Ottoman Turks is scarce, but they take their Turkish name, Osmanlı , from the house of Osman I The Ottoman...

 victory, largely due to a poor choice of terrain by one of the Greek commanders, Vasos Mavrovouniotis
Vasos Mavrovouniotis
Vasos Mavrovouniotis was voivode from Montenegro, who played a significant role in the Greek revolution against the Ottoman Empire in 1821.-Life:...

. It was also the only engagement in the war of Colonel Denis Bourbaki, who was beheaded by the Turks after the engagement. The outcome of the battle had considerable impact on the course of the siege of the Acropolis
Acropolis means "high city" in Greek, literally city on the extremity and is usually translated into English as Citadel . For purposes of defense, early people naturally chose elevated ground to build a new settlement, frequently a hill with precipitous sides...

 then ongoing by the Turks.

After Greek independence, and during the reign of King Otto
Otto of Greece
Otto, Prince of Bavaria, then Othon, King of Greece was made the first modern King of Greece in 1832 under the Convention of London, whereby Greece became a new independent kingdom under the protection of the Great Powers .The second son of the philhellene King Ludwig I of Bavaria, Otto ascended...

, Kamatero is first mentioned in a royal decree of 1836, proclaiming it a part of the municipality of Chastia. In 1840, by a new royal decree, it was made part of the municipality of Fyli
Fyli is a town and a municipality in the northwestern part of Attica, Greece. It lies in the northeastern corner of the West Attica regional unit, and is a suburb of Athens...

. In 1845, it was transferred again, this time to the municipality of Acharnai. In 1853, Kamatero is described by Ragavis as a settlement of 29 households and 123 people, producing grain
GRAIN is a small international non-profit organisation that works to support small farmers and social movements in their struggles for community-controlled and biodiversity-based food systems. Our support takes the form of independent research and analysis, networking at local, regional and...

 and wine
Wine is an alcoholic beverage, made of fermented fruit juice, usually from grapes. The natural chemical balance of grapes lets them ferment without the addition of sugars, acids, enzymes, or other nutrients. Grape wine is produced by fermenting crushed grapes using various types of yeast. Yeast...


Kamatero exhibited a steady growth of population during this period. It is mentioned as being inhabited by 103 people in 1846. As already noted, it is described in 1853 as having a population of 123. By the first available census, in 1879, the population had risen to 199. This trend continued throughout the rest of the century: the population rose to 246 by 1889 and 264 by 1896.

As has been noted, the main language spoken in Kamatero up until World War II was Arvanitic. This is further reinforced by the 1879 census, according to which, in the municipality of Acharnai, to which Kamatero still belonged at the time, out of a total of 3,415 people, 2,711 did not speak Greek.

20th century

The 1907 census confirms the continued strong presence of Arvanitic in the area of Kamatero in the early 20th century. According to this, in the municipality of Acharnai (of which Kamatero still formed part), of a total of 5,853 people, 3,577 spoke Greek, 2,272 spoke Albanian, and 4 spoke another language. The great increase in the proportion of Greek speaking people however, as compared to the 1879 census, is notable. In addition, the 1907 census also confirmed the continued increase of the population: by 1907, it had risen to 285.

There is a World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 era description of Kamatero in the book 21 Battalion, by author J. Cody. The 21st Battalion was a New Zealand infantry battalion temporarily stationed in Kamatero in spring 1941. The description given by the author is of a "pleasant tree-studded area". It is repeatedly termed a "village", and, upon arrival, soldiers of the 21st chanced upon the villagers harvesting wheat. The battalion's encampment is characterised as "rolling country dotted with olive trees". The above description makes it clear that Kamatero at that time was still a small agricultural settlement.

Major population influx only started in the 1950s, resulting in wide-scale urbanisation. By now, urban development has replaced most of the farmlands and forests, and about two thirds of the settlement are residential areas. According to the Association for the Development of West Athens, in 1981 only an estimated 2,8% of the economically active population was employed in the primary sector of industry
Primary sector of industry
The sector of an economy making direct use of natural resources. This includes agriculture, forestry and fishing, mining, and extraction of oil and gas. This is contrasted with the secondary sector, producing manufactures and other processed goods, and the tertiary sector, producing services...

. More recent figures are unavailable, but probably lower.

More recently, Athens was struck by a major earthquake on September 7, 1999
September 1999
September 1999 was the ninth month of that year. It began on a Wednesday and ended after 30 days on a ThursdayThe following events also occurred during the month:...

. Kamatero was very close to the epicentre, and several houses were heavily damaged. There were no casualties, but the homeless were in the hundreds range.


The western part of the municipality is dominated by Poikilo mountain. This forms part of the Aigaleo mountain range, which extends southwest to the Saronic Gulf
Saronic Gulf
The Saronic Gulf or Gulf of Aegina in Greece forms part of the Aegean Sea and defines the eastern side of the isthmus of Corinth. It is the eastern terminus of the Corinth Canal, which cuts across the isthmus.-Geography:The gulf includes the islands of; Aegina, Salamis, and Poros along with...

. The remaining part of the municipality is characterised by a rolling, hilly landscape. Up to the mid-20th century, the area was made up of farmlands and some forests dominated its northern part.

After that point, urban development replaced much of the farmlands. Today, about two-thirds of the land are residential areas. Empty space today can be found mostly in the western part, on Poikilo mountain. This is a rocky mountain, consisting mostly of limestone
Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed largely of the minerals calcite and aragonite, which are different crystal forms of calcium carbonate . Many limestones are composed from skeletal fragments of marine organisms such as coral or foraminifera....

, dotted with the occasional pine. There are also some last patches of forest to be found there, especially at the feet of the mountain.

The Antonis Tritsis Environmental Sensitisation Park lies to the southeast of the municipality. The park is considered to be "one of the last wildlife reserves in the Athens urban environment", and it covers "more than 100,000 m2". It consists of water courses, evergreen and coniferous trees, reed beds and farmland, and attracts "many species of birds and animal throughout the year." Specifically, "members of the Hellenic Ornithological Society have been monitoring birds at the Park and have recorded 147 different species". While the Park technically lies outside the municipality's boundaries, its influence on its microclimate is evident. Furthermore, as it is directly on the municipality's boundaries, Kamatero municipality takes an active part in its administration, along with the neighbouring municipalities of Ilion and Agioi Anargyroi
Agioi Anargyroi
Agioi Anargyroi is a suburb in the northern part of Athens, Greece, named for Saints Cosmas and Damian...



Kamatero is a part of the municipality Agioi Anargyroi-Kamatero within the West Athens regional unit, itself a part of the Attica region.

Kamatero itself is not further subdivided into smaller administrative sectors. While there are some traditional neighbourhoods in Kamatero, they have no administrative function. Besides, the delineation between the various neighbourhoods has become somewhat blurred, as what were essentially separate settlements up to a few decades ago have now been merged into a single building complex, itself part of the larger Athens metropolitan complex
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...


Voting trends

Kamatero voters exhibit a long trend of supporting leftist and centre-leftist parties to a greater extent than the national average. After the military dictatorship of 1967-1974
Greek military junta of 1967-1974
The Greek military junta of 1967–1974, alternatively "The Regime of the Colonels" , or in Greece "The Junta", and "The Seven Years" are terms used to refer to a series of right-wing military governments that ruled Greece from 1967 to 1974...

, Kamatero has almost exclusively elected left-wing mayors, with the exception of the 1974-1978 period, right after the junta. Kamatero was one of the few Greek municipalities to elect a communist mayor in 1978 when Vasilis Katsaros won. He was reelected in the 1982 and 1986 elections and remained in office until 1990 (although he later switched from the Communist Party to the radical leftist Synaspismos). Following 1990, and up to 2007, mayors supported by the socialist PASOK party have consistently been elected: Panagiotis Trakas (1990–1998), Dr Nikolaos Stenos [2002-2005 (resigned)], Nikitas Kamarinopoulos (replacing Dr Stenos 2005-2006 and in his own right 2006–present). The only brake from PASOK domination came during the 1998-2002 period, when Christoforos Danakos was elected under the auspices of the center-leftist DIKKI party (itself a PASOK splinter).

Furthermore, leftist parties generally pole better in Kamatero than their national average. This is especially true of the Communist Party, which in the latest legislative elections (2004)
Greek legislative election, 2004
Legislative elections were held in Greece on March 7, 2004. At stake were 300 seats in the Greek Parliament, the Vouli . The New Democracy Party of Kostas Karamanlis won a decisive victory in the elections, ending eleven years of rule by the Panhellenic Socialist Movement .PASOK was led into the...

 polled 11,14% of the vote in Kamatero, as opposed to its national average of 5,90%. PASOK polled 41,94% in Kamatero, as opposed to its national average of 40,55%, while Synaspismos and DIKKI also polled better than their national average (3,69% and 2,94% respectively, as opposed to their national averages of 3,26% and 1,79% respectively). By contrast, the centre-right New Democracy
New Democracy (Greece)
New Democracy is the main centre-right political party and one of the two major parties in Greece. It was founded in 1974 by Konstantinos Karamanlis and formed the first cabinet of the Third Hellenic Republic...

 party, that won the national election, came in a distant second in Kamatero, polling 35,24% as opposed to its national average of 45,26%. However, it is noteworthy that the far-right LAOS
Popular Orthodox Rally
The Popular Orthodox Rally or The People's Orthodox Rally , often abbreviated to ΛΑ.Ο.Σ as a pun on the Greek word for people, is a Greek party. According to its political program LA.O.S...

 party also polled better in Kamatero, gaining 3,68% of the vote as opposed to its national average of 2,19%.


The area is mainly made up of urban areas, as residential areas account for about two-thirds of the municipality. Kamatero is not divided into administrative districts, however there are some traditional neighbourhoods: the Centre, Attalos, Aghios Trifonas and Gerovouno. Construction regulations vary throughout the municipality, but most houses are up to two floors.

The influx of population from the 1950s onwards mostly consisted of low-income individuals. Furthermore, Kamatero has a distinct working-class character, as in 1981 56,7% of the economically active population was employed in the secondary sector of industry
Secondary sector of industry
The secondary sector of the economy or industrial sector includes those economic sectors that create a finished, tangible product: production and construction.-Function:...

, while 36,3% was employed in the tertiary sector
Tertiary sector of industry
The tertiary sector of the economy is one of the three economic sectors, the others being the secondary sector and the primary sector .The service sector consists of the "soft" parts of the economy, i.e...

. The primary sector
Primary sector of industry
The sector of an economy making direct use of natural resources. This includes agriculture, forestry and fishing, mining, and extraction of oil and gas. This is contrasted with the secondary sector, producing manufactures and other processed goods, and the tertiary sector, producing services...

 accounted only for 2,8% of the population. Kamatero is considered to have potentials for further development, as it has one of the largest reserves of building space in Attica. Furthermore, it has been called one of the fastest growing municipalities in Attica.


As can be seen from the table below, the population has been on a steady increase from 1971 onwards. What should be noted, however, is that the actual population is likely to be significantly higher than these official figures. This is because a lot of Greeks remain registered in their places of origins, while residing in various other municipalities, mostly in the Athens area. This is evident from the fact that in 1989, the official population would have ranged somewhere between 16,000 and 19,000 residents, as can be seen from the table. However, according to the public power corporation of Greece's estimate for that year, based on statistical sheets it asked its consumers to fill in, the actual population was 25,515 (higher than even the official figure for 2001). It can be assumed that the actual population is to this day higher than the official figure, but there can be no accurate estimate.
Year Population
1846 103
1853 123
1879 199
1889 246
1896 264
1907 285
1971 11,382
1981 15,593
1991 18,759
2001 22,234


Aside from small family businesses, Kamatero houses four banks, a sports centre, a post office and a few small factories. One of these was destroyed in a major fire on 10 October 2003. However, there is a considerable growth of small-scale businesses, such as stores and restaurants, mostly focused around the town squares (plateies
Plateia or platia is the Greek word for town square. Most Greek and Cypriot cities have several town squares which are a point of reference in travelling and guiding...



Kamatero has 8 elementary schools, 3 lower-level secondary schools, and 2 upper-level secondary schools (high schools), as well as a vocational school. Most high school graduates enroll in the universities and technical colleges of Athens or other Greek cities.

External links

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