Message from the Mayor of Athens, Kostas Bakoyannis
The City of Athens. Each corner a living monument to events big and small that have been imprinted on this very special canvas.
The action "Walking with the Philhellenes" is an initiative of ELLINIKI ETAIRIA – Society for the Environment and Cultural Heritage (ELLET), implemented in cooperation with the Athens Development and Destination Management Agency of the Municipality of Athens, with the aim of offering our city’s residents and visitors the opportunity to get to know the historical landmarks and personalities that have defined Athens.
Philhellenism was a huge political, social, cultural, and even artistic movement that spread throughout Europe and the United States after the start of the Greek Revolution of 1821. This unprecedented expression of solidarity with the underdog Greeks, often through self-sacrifice, became a matter of principle and quickly cut across political and social classes.
Dozens of streets and avenues in Athens are named after Philhellenes. From Lenorman Avenue, named after the French Archaeologist, to Santarosa Street, honoring the Italian Count Santore di Santarosa, who fell heroically while fighting in Sfakteria in 1825, Athenians wanted to honor the personalities who offered the most to our country’s independence and its development.
Although Lord Byron is known to all of us, perhaps the same is not true of Heinrich Treiber, the German physician who played a key role in the organization of the modern Greek state. Or Samuel Howe, the American doctor who found himself at the heart of the struggle for Greek Independence after completing his medical degree at Harvard.
The two hundred years that have passed from the start of the Greek Revolution provide an ideal opportunity to renew our gratitude for all those who honored our country, this homeland of “heroes and gods”, as Pushkin described it in his poem “Arise Greece”