Monastiraki Square has been vivid since 1834, specifically since Athens was declared the capital of Greece. It is located between the districts of Psyrri, Plaka and Thiseio and between Ermou, Athena and Pandrossou streets.
In the past it was called Old Barracks Square, named after the nearby Old Barracks Prisons. Later it was named Hadrian’s Square after Hadrian’s Library. Finally, due to the Great Monastery of Pantanassa which was located in the area and was only for nuns, it was renamed Monastiraki. Currently, the only building that has been preserved from this monastery following the excavations of 1885, is the parish church of the Dormition of the Mother of God, which is located on the square.
In the northern part of the square, the Tzistarakis Mosque is located, also known as the Koursounou Mosque or the “Kato Pazari” or “Kato Sidrivaniou” mosque, since there was a marble fountain in front of the square and it was built in 1759 by the voivode Mustafa Aga (Tzistarakis). It is the only freely accessible mosque in Athens.
The square also hosts a large number of antique shops, second-hand bookstores, record stores, shops with jewelry, souvenirs, folk art items, replicas of museum exhibits, clothes, handmade sandals, leather goods, etc. In and around the square, cafes, restaurants, shops offering drinks, entertainment, etc. are located.
Nearby,visitors can see Hadrian’sLibrary, the metro station built in 1868, as well as modern buildings.
In addition to the wonderful atmosphere of this multicultural square, visitors will also enjoy the delightful view of the Acropolis, day and night, which is located above the square and is easy to see from any corner of the area.