On Thursday, September 27, as part of the Arrival Orientation for incoming 2018-2019 U.S. grantees, Els Siakos Hanappe, Fulbright Greek Program Coordinator, organized the Athens Culture Walk, which introduced participants to a lesser known part of the city. This year, the idea was to give grantees a taste of private homes in Athens, past and present. From the traditional houses of the Ottoman period to the neoclassical mansions of the 19th century and the ‘polykatoikies’ (multiple homes or apartment buildings) of the 20th, Athens’ buildings witnessed the city’s rapid expansion from a small town of about 400 houses located at the foot of the Acropolis to its establishment in 1834 as capital of the newly independent state and to the cosmopolitan metropolis it is today. Some of the homes have kept original living arrangements whereas others have been adjusted and given a new life as cultural centers, art spaces, offices or trendy bars and restaurants. The group visited the Katakouzenos Home Museum - a postwar home of a well-known Greek psychiatrist, the Benizelos Family Mansion to view the living spaces of an Ottoman period home, and the Museum of the City of Athens - Vouros-Eutaxias Foundation that tells the history of the city and its aristocracy. The guided tour was rounded off with a well-deserved traditional Greek lunch.
The Fulbright Foundation thanks all hosts at the various venues for their generosity and hospitality.