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Tripodon Street: the Oldest Street in Athens and Europe

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With a history that goes back for millennia, Athens is a city that has seen countless changes over the course of time. But there’s one thing that has remained the same for centuries; the name of Tripodon street in the historic center of the city in the Plaka neighborhood.

Tripodon holds the Guinness World Record as the oldest street in Athens and in whole Europe and has remarkably kept the same name for almost 25 centuries.

Here’s all you need to know before visiting the world-famous Tripodon street.

The Name and Importance of Tripodon Street

In the times of ancient Greece, Tripodon street was used to connect the Ancient Agora of Athens with the Theater of Dionysus. That’s the reason why it was widely known as the “street of theater and fine arts” among locals.

History books suggest that Tripodon was by far the most beautiful and decorated street in ancient Athens.

Tripodon is considered to be the most ancient street in Athens and the whole of Europe.
Courtesy: Athens By Locals

Just imagine walking this 800-meter long and 6-meter wide street alongside Pericles or Aristotle on the way to catch a play at the crowded theater.

For ancient Athens, this was the equivalent of the Hollywood boulevard.

For 25 centuries, Tripodon street has borne the same name.
Courtesy: Athens By Locals

But that’s not the only reason why it left its mark on the city.

Tripodon street got its name from the bronze tripods that were placed on both sides of the road.

Tripodon street in Plaka district, Athens. Courtesy: Athens By Locals

These tripods were funded by the sponsors as prizes for the victorious theatrical and musical performances, which took place at the theater of Dionysus.

You can still see an ancient tripod today, maintained in excellent condition in Lysikrates square.

The Monument of Lysicrates

The Lysicrates monument (also known as the “Diogenes Lantern”) is the best-preserved choragic monument in Athens.

The name ‘choragic’ means that it was a monument funded by a sponsor.

At the time, it was very common for sponsors (who were usually wealthy Athenians) to undertake the costs of performances that the state could not cover.

In Tripodon street you’ll find the world-famous choragic Lysicrates monument.
Courtesy: Athens By Locals

According to the custom, when a sponsored performance won an award, sponsors would raise monuments on Tripodon street as a tribute to their victory.

In this case, it was Lysicrates who commissioned the monument to celebrate an award-winning play in 334 BC.

The monument of Lysicrates is a round statue standing on a square podium, famous for being the first ancient monument to feature Corinthian style design.

The Choragic Monument of Lysicrates near the Acropolis of Athens.
Courtesy: Athens By Locals

Several centuries later, in 1669, a group of Capuchin monks who had found a home in a nearby monastery, purchased the monument from an Ottoman resident.

At the turn of the 19th century, Lord Elgin attempted to buy the monument from the monks but his offer was turned down.

Lysikratous Square Plaka, Athens. Courtesy: Athens By Locals

It wasn’t until after the Greek War of Independence in 1821 ended that the monument finally became property of the Greek state.

Today, the monument of Lysicrates stands tall amidst a colorful garden on Lysikratous Square, attracting hundreds of visitors every year.

Points of Interest on the Oldest Street of Athens

Below you will read about some places you can find on Tripodon Street that are definitely worth a second look.

School Life and Education Museum

Even though it’s not one of the best-known museums in Athens, the School Life and Education Museum is worth spending a few minutes of your time when visiting Tripodon Street.

©Athens By Locals
©Athens By Locals

Its collections feature all kinds of school material including old books, documents, photos, and manuscripts to narrate the long history of the school system in Greece.

Opening hours: Weekdays from 10 am to 5 pm, Weekends from 11 am to 5 pm.

  • Address: Tripodon 23, 10558, Athens
  • Phone: 0030 2103250341

Arte Athens

Passing by the corner of Tripodon and Ragkava street, you might come across a most peculiar sight; the largest chocolate waterfall in Athens. You’ve just arrived at Arte Athens, one of the most famous ice-cream shops in the city that serves authentic artisanal gelato in the most extraordinary flavors including Domori chocolate, Tahitian vanilla, and even traditional Greek “kaimaki” and “ryzogalo” (rice pudding). A simple scoop is enough to convince you that Arte has turned the ritual of gelato-making into a true form of art.

One of the best ice cream shops in Athens. Courtesy: Arte Athens
  • Opening hours: Friday to Sunday 11 am to 12 am, Monday to Thursday 11 am to 11.30 pm.
  • Address: Tripodon 16, Athina 105 58
  • Phone: 0030 2130100700

Cafe Plaka

Located at the corner of Tripodon and Flessa street, Cafe Plaka is a charming cafe that serves coffee, pastries, and snacks with a few tables laid out on the side of the street as well as a small terrace where you can grab a refreshing beverage before continuing to explore the streets of Plaka.

Cafe Plaka. Courtesy: Athens By Locals
  • Opening hours: Every day from 9 am to 1 am after midnight. Mondays from 9 am to 11 pm.
  • Address: Tripodon 1, 10558, Athens

Restaurant Scholarchio

Restaurant Scholarchio is a traditional tavern (or “ouzeri”) located in the middle of Tripodon street. What makes Scholarchio special is that they still do things the “old” way.

Traditional tavern Scholarchio. Courtesy: Athens By Locals

This means that once you’re seated, a waiter will come by holding a large tray with all kinds of dishes including starters, salads, meat or fish dishes, and typical Greek “mezedes”.

After explaining what all of those are, you are free to choose as many as you like. Prices range between €3 and €8 per dish.

  • Opening hours: Everyday from 11am to midnight.
  • Address: Tripodon 14, 10558, Athens
  • Phone: 0030 2103247605

Al Hammam Traditional Baths

Bringing an exotic touch to Tripodon street, the Al Hammam traditional baths are a great place to unwind and relax after a full day of sightseeing.

The Al Hammam Traditional Baths on Tripodon street. Courtesy: Athens By Locals

They offer hamam, wellness, and spa treatments and massages with natural organic products as well as manicure and pedicure services.

  • Opening hours: Every day from 11 am to 10 pm.
  • Address: Tripodon 16, 10558, Athens
  • Phone: 0030 2110129099

How to Get to Tripodon Street

Tripodon street is located in the famous neighborhood of Plaka in central Athens and it’s very easy to reach.

We recommend walking there from Syntagma Square so that you can also enjoy a stroll and some window shopping around the streets of Plaka.

Getting to Tripodon from Syntagma on foot would take less than 15 minutes.

Alternatively, you can reach it by metro via the Acropolis metro station (red line), which is located about 5 minutes away.

All in all, what better way to get acquainted with a city that boasts such a long history than to visit its oldest street? Just walk down Tripodon street and get ready to immerse yourself in a world of fine arts, culture, and eternal glory.

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