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Exarchia, alternatively spelled as Exarcheia, Exarheia and Exarhia (Greek Εξάρχεια), is the name of a neighborhood in downtown Athens, Greece close to the historical building of the National Technical University of Athens. The Exarchia region is famous as a lair of Greek leftists. It took the name from a merchant named Exarchos (Greek: Έξαρχος) who opened a large general store there. Exarchia is bordered on the east by Kolonaki and is framed by Patission, Panepistimiou and Alexandras Avenues.


Located in Exarchia is the National Archaeological Museum of Athens, the National Technical University of Athens and Strefis hill. The central square features many cafes and bars with numerous retail computer shops located mainly on Stournari street, also called the Greek Silicon Valley. Located on Exarchia square is one of the oldest summer cinemas of Athens, called "Vox", as well as the Antonopoulos apartment building, known as the "Blue Building", because of its initial color, which is a typical example of the modernist movement of Greek architecture in the inter war period. Due to the political and intellectual character of the region, many bookstores, fair trade shops and organic food stores are also located in Exarcheia.[1] Exarchia is also known for having comic book shops.

History and political significance

The district of Exarchia was created between 1870 and 1880 at the confines of the city and has played a significant role in the social and political life of Greece. It is there the Athens Polytechnic uprising of November 1973 took place. Exarchia is a place where many intellectuals and artists live and an area where many socialist, anarchist, and antifascist groups are accommodated. Police stations and other symbols of authority (and capitalism) such as banks are often targets of far-leftist groups.[2][3] Exarcheia is also an art hub where theatrical shows and concerts take place around the central square. On December 6, 2008, the shooting death of 15-year-old Alexandros Grigoropoulos in Exarchia caused rioting throughout Greece.


  1. City of Athens Portal, Retrieved August 23, 2007. [1]
  2. "Greek anarchist youths throw petrol bombs at cars outside central Athens police station", Pravda, April 26, 2007. Accessed August 23, 2007.
  3. "Greek police shooting sparks riot", BBC, December 7, 2008, Retrieved December 7, 2008.

"Exarcheia", City of Athens Portal, Retrieved August 23 2007.

"Greek anarchist youths throw petrol bombs at cars outside central Athens police station", Pravda, April 26 2007, Retrieved August 23 2007.

External links

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