Be a member
Send article with e-mail
Your e-mail *
Friend e-mail *
CAPTCHA *
CAPTCHA Code *
Refresh CAPTCHA
Comment
* required fields
Send
More
- +
by Archaeology Newsroom

The meeting of the ancient and modern city

Attica has been inhabited continuously from antiquity to the present, in spite of the various catastrophes it has suffered. The natural environment, regardless of its numerous transformations, had remained almost unchanged up to the beginning of our century. The modern city covers the ancient one like a membrane which must stop, where and when it is inevitable, in order to supply light and life to the ancient city which in turn is “sacrificed” so the modern city can develop at the necessary pace . This meeting of the two cities is symbolically expressed by the proposed third Square which is included in the awarded study of the architects Theocles Kanarelis and Maro Papadopoulou, who participated in third “Panhellenic Architectural Competition for the Formation of the Third Square at Kerameikos”. The Third Square of Athens was designed for the first time by the architects Kleanthis and Schauberd in the original town-planning project of the city.It showed a huge triangle with a square set at each of its angles.Out of these three squares only the two have actually been realized, those of Omonoia and Syntagma. The third one would have been located at Kerameikos. Seen from a different approach today, the Third Square of Athens could function as the essential meeting point of the two cities, Athens ancient and modern. All the proposals of the study, based on thorough historical and in situ research, lead to a difficult but imperative step that should be taken to upgrade the city of Athens.

The elongated Third Square, having the form of a street rather than of a square, must function as the vital connection between the two cities, ancient and modern, and the two districts of Athens, its centre and western regions. For the realization of this plan, however, some buildings in the modern city “must be sacrificed” to reveal the values of the ancient settlement. At the same time the ancient city has already “sacrificed” some of its features to the works for the Metro which will contribute to the smoother function of modern Athens. Thus, Athens, in spite of all the misfortunes and problems it has to deal with, can still envisage and hope for the gaining of a historical and social identity, as well as for its qualitative functional upgrading, that will enable the city to undertake and play the role of a particularly Greek modern European metropolis.