Tag Archives: Piraiki

Hatzikyriakio Childcare Institution

In 1889 Ioannis Xatzikyriakos and his wife Maria, two of the greatest Piraeus’ benefactors, founded Hatzikyriakio Orphanage for Girls, today known as Hatzikyriakio Childcare Institution. Designated as “An Art Monument and Preserved Building” by the Ministry of Culture, Hatzikyriakio Orphanage was built around a large patio and a perimeter arched portico. It is a central plan building with slight projections at its corners. There are 56 arched windows in total, with each of the building’s four façades bearing 14. In the front yard of the building there is a chapel dedicated to St. John, probably … < Read More >

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The Piraeus Lion – The City’s Landmark at the Port’s Entrance

The Lion of Piraeus is a remarkable, nine feet high marble statue of a sitting, roaring lion and it used to oversee the port city until 1687. Today, a copy of the original statue, made by the Greek sculptor George Megoulas, adorns the entrance of Piraeus port, standing in front of the Cruise Terminals, while the prototype is one of the four lion statues on display at the Venetian Arsenal. When, why or by whom the lion statue was built, remains unclear to this day. Contemporary researchers consider it to be a classical period piece (5th century BC), others suggest that it was made in the late … < Read More >

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The Cross in Piraiki – The Monument of the “Unknown Sailor”

Piraiki Peninsula, located on the east side of the main port, is one of the most beautiful regions in Piraeus. Along the coastline, named Akti Themistokleous (Themistocles’ Coast) many small rocky coves are created, with the most prominent among them being Aphrodit’s Bay. Aphrodite’s Bay was also called Baikoutsi Bay, named after the owner of an old country club, once thriving in the area. Very few locals, however, would point you to your destination if you decided to make use of either toponym (Aphrodite or Baikoutsi Bay) since, for the citizens of Piraeus, this particular area is called … < Read More >

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Zoödochos Pighi Church – Mother Mary’s Church on the Port of Piraeus

Zoödochos Pigh, always designating Mother Mary, means “life giving spring”, referring to Mother Mary’s interventions when her help is needed and prayed for. Legend has it that almost 1600 years ago a poor, blind man was drifting around, helpless and desperate. Nobody would help him until a passerby stopped and offered to help. “Please”, said the blind man, “I haven’t drunk any water in days. Please, all I want is some water”. The passerby took the blind by the hand and headed for the woods to find a water … < Read More >

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St. Nile Church – The Only Saint Nile Parish in Greece

St. Nile Church, located in the neighborhood of Hatzikyriakio in Piraeus, on the plot surrounded by the streets Theotoki, Herodotou, Antoniou Theohari and Sp.Trikoupi, is one of the three churches in Greece – and the first to be built-dedicated to Saint Nile the Myrrh-gusher. It is also the only parish of Saint Nile in Greece. In 1928, following the initiative of Heleni Mamai who lived in Piraeus but was from Kinouria, a region in Peloponnisos, birthplace of Saint Nile, a small church dedicated to Saint Nile was built. Originally operating as a private church, St. Nile Church became … < Read More >

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The Long Walls – Themistocles’ Ambitious Fortification Project

Themistocles was the first to perceive Piraeus’ strategic geographical position and its significance for the Athenian domination on the Mediterranean basin. With this in mind, in 493 BC, he proposed a fortification project, the cornerstone of which being the construction of a wall that would connect Athens to its major port and thus, controlling the sea, enable the city against any siege. The Persian invasions, however, put the ambitious project on hold and only in 480 BC the actual fortification works began. It wasn’t until much later, though (446 BC) that the original Themistocles’ project was completed. First … < Read More >

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