I can’t tell you if I was especially motivated to take pictures on the day I took this shot of Monastiraki Square in Athens, but it is one of my favourite photographs. It seems as if there is no difference between the vast history represented by the Acropolis wall, the Adrian library and the old mosque and the present day. People continue to walk through the square, just as they have done for generations, bringing movement and life with them.
Monastirkai Square is at the intersection of three neighbourhoods: the Plaka area, the Psiri area and Monastiraki market. These three districts reflect three different cultures and three historical periods. Plaka and the Acropolis, which rises on the hill at the back of the scene, show the western classical influence. Monastiraki has oriental elements, while Psiri is more modern, cosmopolitan and international. These three aspects are present today in the everyday lives of Greek citizens and Monastiraki Square is a hub for their expression and fusion.
You can reach the square by metro, pick a direction and take a cultural to tour through it before returning to choose another. The prefect accompaniment is Greek pita souvlaki, available from several outlets in the square itself.
Since this photo was taken the square has been renovated and resurfaced. Click here to see how it looks today.