About this Tour
Discover the life and works of
Alexandros Papadiamantis (1851-1911), “the saint of greek novels” who is one of the most important greek novelists, as you
explore Psiri and Plaka.
This is a self-guided mobile tour provided by our tour-guide app. The tour is based on an award-winning storytelling concept and the fascinating narratives prepared by handpicked destination experts. Enjoy this multilingual tour by using your Android or iOS smartphone or tablet at your own pace, even if you are offline. The interactive map on your screen will guide you step by step to explore all the points of interest along your route. Each stop comes with a selection of signature stories, allowing you to tailor this experience to your personal interests and schedule.
Papadiamantis: The Athens Years is a hunt for a lost treasure, but a treasure unlike any other you have ever searched for. Alexandros Papadiamantis was an influential Greek novelist and short-story writer whose work proved seminal in Modern Greek literature. His prose is virtually impossible to translate as the magic of his language is based on the unparalleled combination of two different forms of Greek, so his work makes one regret not knowing Greek.
Papadiamantis was born on the island of Skiathos but moved to Athens as a young man in search of higher education and employment. He remained desperately poor throughout his life, always depending on the kindness and support of his many influential friends to make ends meet. Despite his popularity and prolific pen, he seemed to care little about money and refused the high fees often commanded by his work. He never married and spent his life observing the world of the poor that provided most of the inspiration for his short stories and novellas. He was also very religious and was often to be found late at night chanting in church, a passion that earned him the moniker “kosmokalogeros” (a monk of the world). Neglectful of his appearance and his health, in later life he returned to his native island destitute and died of pneumonia.
Τhis tour follows Papadiamantis during the many years he spent in Athens. As you learn about his life and read excerpts from his work referring to Athenian landmarks, you will visit the University of Athens, his humble abode in the neighbourhood of Psirri where poor peasants and islanders spent their lives stacked in untidy and dirty buildings, and Monastiraki Square with the old mosque where Papadiamantis had the joy of seeing the ghost of a woman dressed in a long white veil. Then you will pass through affluent Kolonaki to Dexameni, where you can enjoy a cup of traditional Greek coffee in the same establishment where Papadiamantis used to spend his hours observing life in the neighbourhood.
To take this self-guided tour you will need the app on your iOS or Android device.
- Discover Kachrimanis’ grocery store, where Papadiamantis often ate late at night during the winter months.
- Explore the Church of the Prophet Elissaios, where for many years, every Saturday evening, Alexander attended the Divine Liturgy and sang hymns.
- Visit Parnassus where the crème of the Athenian society held a literary evening in a desperate effort to collect funds for a destitute Papadiamantis.