Metaxourgeio or Metaxourgio (Μεταξουργείο in Greek) is a neighborhood 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....

. The neighborhood is located north of the historical center of Athens, between Kolonos to the east and Kerameikos to the west, and north of Gazi. Metaxourgeio is frequently described as a transition neighborhood. After a long period of abandonment in the late 20th century, the area is acquiring a reputation as an artistic and fashionable neighborhood due to the opening of many art galleries, museums, and trendy restaurants and cafes. Moreover, local efforts to beautify and invigorate the neighborhood have reinforced a budding sense of community and artistic expression. Anonymous art pieces containing quotes and sayings in both English and Ancient Greek have begun springing up throughout the neighborhood, containing statements such as "Art for art's sake" (Τεχνη τεχνης χαριν). Guerilla gardening has also helped to beautify this area, taking advantage of the ample sunshine in Greece. The heart of the neighborhood is Avdi Square
Avdi Square
Avdi Square is a public gathering place located in the Metaxourgeio neighbourhood of Athens, Greece, bounded by Leonidou, Kerameikou, Giatrakou and Germanikou streets. On the edges of the square stand the Municipal Gallery of Athens, several cafes, theatres, businesses and residential buildings...

, which draws residents and visitors with its open space, greenery, periodic festivals and gatherings, and adjacent restaurants, theatres and art gallery.


Metaxourgeio is built on the Dimosio Sima, the ancient cemetery of eminent Athenians. For centuries, the area was largely rural and stood on the outskirts of the city. The construction of the Metaxourgeio factory in the early 19th century paved the way for the neighborhood's inclusion in the larger urban area. During the course of Athens' dramatic growth in the late 19th century, Metaxourgeio became a thriving working-class neighborhood, housing many craftsmen, tradesmen, and small-business owners. The population of the neighborhood continued to grow during the course of the early twentieth century, maintaining its working-class profile, until a period of abandonment beginning in the 1970s. Metaxourgeio's abrupt population decrease during this period reflects the larger situation in Athens, when many inhabitants moved to cities within the region but outside of the capital. A lack of building renewal and restrictive traffic regulations exacerbated this trend in Metaxourgeio. Continuing into the 1980s, the area's image of abandonment combined with a decrease in employment opportunities further discouraged new inhabitants.
By 2001, the population of the neighborhood had stabilized, largely due to an influx of immigrants as well as upper middle-class residents who found the area's low rents and proximity to high-profile meeting places attractive. In the period leading up to the 2004 Olympic games, renovation projects and infrastructure rebuilding throughout Athens extended to Metaxourgeio as well, which further attracted new higher-income residents.

Since January 2000, the district has been connected with the Athens metropolitan line 2.


Alekos Fassianos
Alekos Fassianos
- Biography :Fassianos studied violin at the Athens Conservatory and painting at the Athens School of Fine Arts from 1956 to 1960 where he was taught from Yannis Moralis. He then went to Paris on a French State scholarship where he attended lessons on lithography along with Clairin and Caroline...

 (born 1935) is a well-recognized and celebrated Greek painter whose work "The Myth of my neighborhood,” on exhibit at the Metaxourgeio Metro station, leads us to a world full of colors and images of another era. Since his first Athens exhibition in 1959 he has held more than 70 personal exhibitions in Paris, Athens, Thessaloniki, Milan, New York, London, Tokyo, Beirut, Hamburg, Munich and elsewhere. Apart from painting he has worked on scribing, poster creation, illustration of books and various publication in Greece and abroad.

Anthony Samarakis was born in Athens in 1919. He studied law at Athens University. With great social activity he was one of the most famous Greeks both as a writer and as an active citizen.

Vicky Moscholiou
Vicky Moscholiou
Vicky Moscholiou , born in Metaxourgeio in Athens, was a Greek singer. On 14 March 2010, Alpha TV ranked Moscholiou the 13th top-certified female artist in the nation's phonographic era ....

 is a famous Greek singer born in the Metaxourgeio neighborhood of Athens singer born in 1943. She was commonly described as having a ‘different’ voice. She rose to fame in 1964 with Stavros Xarhakos' song "Hathike to feggari" (The Moon is Lost), which was composed for the movie Lola. Two of her hits gave their names to night clubs in Athens, "Deilina" (Afternoons) and "Ximeromata" (Daybreaks). She was one of the first in Greece to sing both in night clubs and concerts, and she has also sung in the royal courts of Greece, Persia and Jordan. She was also one of the first entertainers to sing in aid of Cyprus
Cyprus , officially the Republic of Cyprus , is a Eurasian island country, member of the European Union, in the Eastern Mediterranean, east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and north of Egypt. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.The earliest known human activity on the...


Giorgos Zampetas
Giorgos Zampetas
Giorgos Zampetas was a well-known bouzouki musician. He was born on January 25, 1925 in Athens but his origins are from Kythnos. He died on March 10, 1992 in Athens.-Early years:...

 was born in 1925 in Metaxourgeio and is credited as being one of the greatest bouzouki artists, as well as a composer and singer. He showed musical interest from a young age, secretly playing his bouzouki in his father's barber shop. At age 7 he won a school contest by playing his first song.

Tassos Livaditis (April 1922- Oct 1988) was a poet born in Metaxourgeio whose poetry has been made famous as lyrics by the musician Mikis Theodorakis
Mikis Theodorakis
Mikis Theodorakis is one of the most renowned Greek songwriters and composers. Internationally, he is probably best known for his songs and for his scores for the films Zorba the Greek , Z , and Serpico .Politically, he identified with the left until the late 1980s; in 1989, he ran as an...


Sotiris Spatharis (born 1892) Spatharis born on the island of Santorini in 1892. At a young age he moved to the Metaxourgio section of Athens, where he learned the art of the shadow theatre from Theodoros Theodorellos, a pupil of Mimaros. In 1950, Spatharis started writing his memoirs that were first published in 1960 giving historians much material on the origins and development of the shadow theatre. He died on April 17, 1974, holding tightly in his arms his figure of the Pasha.

Aristomenis Provelengios (1914-1999) is a celebrated Greek architect who served for a period of time beginning in 1962, as the President of the Hellenic Institute of Architects. His work can still be seen at the Au Revoir on Patission Street which is one of the last of the old cafe-bars, a small monument to a time when Kypseli was the place to be and a popular stop for a drink after the theaters let out.

G. Tsakiris is accredited as "the business man who taught the Greek to eat potato chips." In 1954 he began production of his potato chips in the 2x3 meter room where he lived. By 2003 his company was so successful that it was purchased by Coca-Cola.

Marika Kotopouli
Marika Kotopouli
-Biography:Kotopouli was born on 3 May 1887 in Athens, to Dimitris and Eleni. Her parents were also actors, and Marika's first stage appearance came during one of their tours, in the play "The Coachman of the Alps"...

 (3 May 1887 - 3 September 1954) is a notable and accomplished Athens-born actress. She was one of four girls in her family, and together with their parents, they comprised the “Troupe progress.” In order to give the impression that Troupe Progress was not a closed troupe, all of the children except for Marika, were given stage names. By age 14 she had already received good criticism from the acting community, and in 1901 she left her family's troupe to perform with the Trope Royal, which was a rival troupe. By 1908 she had established her own performance troupe, making their first appearance as “Troupe Marika Koopouli”. In 1912 she rented the Theater Omonia, which during this time was renamed Theater Kotopouli. In 1921 she was honored with the Gold Cross of the Order of George I and with the Education Ministry's arts and letters prize in 1923. In 1933 she acted in her one and only film production, which was a Greek-Turkish movie, titled “Kakos dromos” or “Bad Road” in English. In 1936 a new theater, the Rex Theater Kotopouli Stage was built for her troupe on the famous Panepistimiou Street
Panepistimiou Street
Panepistimiou Street is a major street in Athens that runs one way for non-transit vehicles since 2002 from Amalias Avenue, Syntagma Square and Vassilissis Sofias Avenue to Omonoia Square in which is now a pedestrian crossing and before an intersection...

, and is still in use today. In 1951 the Marika Kotopouli Award was founded and is awarded as an honour to Greek actors. Her final stage performance was in March 1953 in Syros. Marika Kotopouli passed away on 3 September 1954, aged 67.

In 1990 with the help and support of the Association of Greek Actors, the home in which Kotopouli grew up, was restored and converted into the Marika Kotopouli Museum. This museum does not house relics of her life, but rather serves to preserve the site which is of historic value, and exhibits modern art.

Zeta Makripoulia
Zeta Makripoulia
Zeta Makrypoulia is a Greek actress, model and television presenter.-Career:Makrypoulia graduated from Vasilis Diamantopoulos' Drama School, while she has also attended acting classes at Theatro ton Allagon...

 (born in 1978) is an actress, television presenter and radio DJ. After appearances in a considerable number of television series and plays, she achieved access to a much broader audience and critical acclaim with the success of the popular Greek television series Sto Para Pente. Makripoulia appeared in three cinematic productions between 2008 and 2010. Her appearance on the Eurovision Song Contest 2006
Eurovision Song Contest 2006
The Eurovision Song Contest 2006 was the 51st Eurovision Song Contest, held at the Olympic Indoor Hall in Athens, Greece on 18 May and 20 May 2006 . The hosting national broadcaster of the contest was Ellinikí Radiofonía Tileórasi . The Finnish band Lordi won the contest with the song "Hard Rock...

 in Athens, Greece was broadcast to a worldwide audience.

Landmarks and attractions

The metamorphosis of the Metaxourgeio neighborhood owes a great deal to the efforts of individual artists and small-business owners, whose galleries, small theatres, and restaurants have helped create the atmosphere of artistic resurgence that now characterizes the area. While the adjacent neighborhoods of Psirri and Gazi experienced significant renovation via new zoning laws encouraging recreational establishments like night clubs, bars, and restaurants, Metaxourgeio's resurgence is due to the individual efforts of many of the following businesses.

Art galleries
  • Municipal Gallery of Athens
    Municipal Gallery of Athens
    The Municipal Gallery of Athens is a museum in Athens, Greece. It houses a rich collection of nearly 3,000 works from leading 19th- and 20th-century Greek artists. Formerly located on Peiraios Street on Eleftherias Square, in October 2010 the gallery moved three blocks northwest to the corner of...

     (Myllerou 32 & Leonidou,Avdi Square) - Open in this location since October 2010, this 1500 sq. mt. gallery is housed in a renovated 19th century building by Hans Christian Hansen. (Prior to October 2010, the gallery was located on Peiraios street on Eleftherias (Koumondourou) Square.)
  • Rebecca Camhi Gallery (Leonidou 9) - Open since 1995, this gallery housed in a neoclassical building features contemporary art in all media.
  • The Breeder (Iasonos 45) - Features contemporary art.

  • Kunsthalle Athena (Kerameikou 28) - An open courtyard space featuring theatre and music performances.
  • Metaxourgeio (Akadimou 16) - A multi-venue performance space featuring a theatre, music bar and restaurant.
  • Apo Mihanis Theatro (Akadimou 13)
  • Theatro Attis (Leonidou 7) - Contemporary theatre.
  • Synergeio (Leonidou 15) - Contemporary theatre.
  • Theatro Tis Anixis (Germanikou 20)

  • Epi Kerameikou (Kerameikou 53) - An artsy cafe and mezedopoleio featuring live traditional Greek music every Monday night, performed in a casual, improvisatory manner. Located next to the trendy Cafe Sto Theatrou.
  • Taverneio To Metaxourgeio (Leonidou 46) - Serving up traditional Greek dishes and wines since 1933. Located in a picturesque old building.
  • Lialina Cafe (Leonidou 5) - A hookah bar and cafe equally popular with immigrants and native Athenians.
  • Nixon (Agisilaou 61b) - An unlikely restaurant/bar/cinema with tons of Richard Nixon
    Richard Nixon
    Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

     paraphernalia on the walls.
  • Belafonte (Agisilaou 61a) - A former manufacturing unit turned classy bar and disco, the building keeps a bit of the industrial feel adding suitable art-deco overtones. Located right next to Nixon.
  • Aleria (Megalou Alexandrou 57) - Classy restaurant situated in a higly renovated neoclassical building.
  • El Bandoneon (Birginias Benaki 7) - Argentinian inspired food and decoration.

  • Giantai (Leonidou 31) - A warmly decorated restaurant with a modern atmosphere situated on Avdi Square.
  • lost n' found (Kerameikou 53) - Former "Bario" on Avdi Square.
  • Polly Maggoo (Leonidou 80) - A french inspired restaurant and bar featuring a postmodern design.
  • Noor (Deligiorgi 43) - Indian tastes and colours in an expressionist setting.
  • Koutalakia (Thermopylon 39) - A traditional Greek tavern.
  • Carousel (Thermopylon 43) - Goth music and after mood.
  • Anthropos (Iatrakou 19) - DJs and elecronic music.
  • Bios (Peiraios 84) - Trendy bar featuring guest DJs and experimental gigs.
  • Anna's (Akadimou 16) - Cafe/restaurant attached to the theatre Metaxourgeio. Named for actress Anna Vagena, the theatre's owner and main star.
  • The Breeder Feeder (Perdika 6) - Restaurant attached to The Breeder art gallery, open several days a week.
  • Myrovolos (Giatrakou 12) - Cafe/restaurant/bar with a large outdoor seating area on Avdi Square.

Architecture and street art
A walk through Metaxourgeio reveals the rise, fall and resurgence of the neighborhood through its architecture and art. The narrow streets of the neighborhood and the occasional cobblestone pedestrian alleys help create a village ambience. Large modern buildings stand next to crumbling, abandoned buildings retaining ornate neoclassical elements. Some of the latter have been salvaged and restored for performance spaces and restaurants. Street art can be found everywhere, ranging from the contributions of professional artists during the ReMap 2 project to the works of anonymous artists adding interesting touches to brick walls, dilapidated buildings and public green spaces.

  • Open-air market - Held every Monday on Kerameikos St., this large market offers a vital source of fresh produce for the neighborhood.
  • Chinatown - Numerous Asian grocery stores and clothing outlets can be found in Metaxourgeio between Kolonou and Kolokynthous streets.
  • Student housing - With the goal of creating a student complex centred around 34 Marathonos St., an architectural competition was held in 2010 for architects under the age of 35.

External links

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