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by Archaeology Newsroom

The Evolution of the First Cemetery of Athens Until the Mid-War Years

The First Cemetery of Athens is the first organized burial ground of the city, which was set up in the early years of the Moden Greek state. Its original nucleus, visible until today, was formed in the beginning of King Otto’s reign and was gradually expanded into its present extent. It is the official cemetery of Athens, it is situated at the center of the capital and is considered very important for its historic and artistic merit. Its central part comprises many remarkable pieces of sculpture, being essentially an outdoors collection representative of the nineteenth-century Greek sculpture. Distinct among its religious architecture are the churches of Hagioi Apostoloi (1899-1901) and Hagioi Theodoroi (1899), after Armodios Vlachos’ plans, the Catholic church of St. Charles (1928), erected on the expense of the Fix family, the Ossuary (1928), after E. Lazaridis’ plans, and the monumental entrance to the cemetery, whose façade was concluded in 1939 according to A. Konstantinidis’ plans. In addition to the burial area of the Orthodox, it also includes the section of the Protestants, transferred there by law in 1914 from the Zappeion grounds, and that of the Israelites, which have existed since 1866, was expanded in 1910 over the area of the old deserted Turkish cemetery. Only few Catholic burials have been located around the church of the respective dogma.