The first cemetery of Athens, where the graves of important names in Greek history are located, is like an open-air museum with interesting tombstones and statues. The tomb has an important place in both Greek history and sculpture.
The oldest cemetery in the capital, the first in Athens, was officially established by the municipality at that time in 1838.
According to the data of the Municipality of Athens, the first plan of the remaining cemetery dates back to 1860. The presence of a small Turkish cemetery in this plan also draws attention.
In 1884, by decision of the kingdom, an area next to the Turkish cemetery was set aside for the city’s Jewish community, while in 1910 the Jewish cemetery was expanded to include the now empty Turkish cemetery. In 1914, the city’s Protestant cemetery was moved to the First Athens Cemetery.
Important for Greek history and sculpture
Today, there are about 12,300 graves in the cemetery built on an area of about 162 dunums.
The necropolis is an important element of Greece both historically and artistically. Among those buried in this cemetery are many important names from the world of politics, art and literature in Greece.
The graves of former Greek Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou, world-famous actress and former Minister of Culture Melina Mercouri, one of the pioneers of the Greek uprising Theodoros Kolokotronis, one of the directors of Greek cinema Theodoros Angelopoulos, and members of the Trikopi family, highlight one of the important names in Greek history.
Home to the works of famous sculptors
In the cemetery, the shape of the graves draws attention as well as the names in eternal sleep. The neoclassical tomb structures reflect the point reached in Greek sculpture in the nineteenth century.
Located in this tomb are the works of Halepas, Viçaris, Fitalis, Vidalis, Filipotis, prominent Greek sculptors, mostly from the island of Tinos.
Also located here is the “Sleeping Woman” sculpture, one of the masterpieces of Greek sculptor Yannolis Halipas.
Since the inscriptions on the graves of famous people are written with literary sensitivity, the cemetery turns into a meeting point for art and history.
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