The history of Athens is lost in the depths of time and with it, many things have changed in the city such as people’s neighborhoods, districts, and habits. However, there are some things that seem to stay the same or almost the same in Athens. One of them is a street in the historic center of the city - the oldest road to be exact - which has been named the same for 25 centuries
The History of the Road in Ancient Athens
We are talking about a small road located in the Plaka district (a famous district in the center of Athens near Syntagma Square) - the famous Tripodon Street. Although it may be a small alley, its history is very important not only in Athens but also throughout Greece. It is considered the oldest road in Athens and has maintained the same name for 25 centuries. Millions of people have walked on this road throughout the centuries in many different historical periods. Starting from antiquity times, Tripodon Street led from the Theatre to the Agora and this was its main usefulness. It is no coincidence that it was considered and is still considered the road of the Theatre and Fine Arts.
Pausanias, a Greek traveler and geographer of the 2nd century AD, wrote about Tripodon Street in his book “Description of Greece”. He described the street as “beginning from the rectory and called Tripodes (meaning ‘three legs’)”.
From the reports that have survived, we can imagine that since antiquity Tripodon Street was considered the most beautiful and decorated road in ancient Athens. Athenians would start from the Rectory down in Agora and climb the 800 meters long and 6 meters wide road to reach their final destination, which was the theatre of Dionysus. This ancient road was also crossed by the torch races that took place in honor of God Dionysus. That is why its name is not accidental - it was named after the copper tripods that were placed along its length. Today, this road takes you through time and you can imagine stories from ancient times popping up before you.
Today, Tripodon Street is a small paved alley that continues almost on the same axis from antiquity until today. It’s characteristic that parts of the sponsored monuments of antiquity have been found in basements and courtyards of real estate on the present Tripodon Street.
Tripodon Street remains a busy street in the heart of the most beautiful neighborhood of old Athens to this day. It hasn’t changed that much in the years that have passed over it and even continued to make history in recent years. This is the street where the cinematographic house of the Kocovikos couple was located in the old Greek film “The woman should be afraid of the Man”. Many scenes were filmed in this alley, starring actors George Konstantinos and Maro Kontos. This film is considered to be very close to the hearts of Greeks.
Tripodon Street is the road of Athens where the past blends so harmoniously with the present in the haze of time. It’s one of the nicest versions of the charming Plaka neighborhood.