Δήμος Αχαρνών Δήμος Αχαρνών / Municipality of Acharnes
  «… αφίκοντο ες Αχαρνάς χώρον μέγιστον της Αττικής των δήμων καλουμένων» (Θουκυδίδης Βιβλίο Β19)
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History of city

From past to present

The ancient municipality of Acharnes belonged since 6th century BC to Iniida tribe and to Triti IV of Mesogea. According to Thucydides it was the largest ancient municipality after Athens “…they arrived in Acharnes, the largest area of all the known of Attica”.

The Thucydides story is confirmed as Acharnes were represented in the Athenian Parliament with 22 deputies - more than all the other regional municipalities - and had a big number of soldiers and horsemen who fought in the side of Athenians during the Peloponnesian War. An irrefutable witness of historical course of Acharnes is the wealth of discoveries from the saving, in the most part, excavations which are held in our region by the 2nd Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities.

The residents of Acharnes, ones of the richest residents of Attica, owed their prosperity in the cultivation of fertile plain between Acharnes and Athens and in the trade of coal they made (they were known coal merchants) thanks to their neighbourhood with the mountain of Parnitha. In this fertile plain of Acharnes repeatedly invaded in the first six years of Peloponnesian War the king of Sparta Archidamos with his army. Here had properties a lot of rich Athenians among who Pericles, who came from ancient Cholargos, which is placed in the region of current Kamatero. Many ancient writers are also reported in the municipality of Acharnes: Paysanias, Thucydides, Lucian, Seneca, Pindarus, Aristophanes, Plutarch, Diodoros, Sicelos, Xenophon, Demosthenes, Isocrates, Stefanos Byzantios, Herodianos, etc.

For the origin and the interpretation of name “Acharnai” the opinions vary. According to a pun of a comical poet of antiquity the word emanates from “acharna” or “acharnos” which means bassfish, because the plain of Acharnes had the form of this fish. The name “Acharnai”, in another opinion, emanates from a homonym fabulous hero, founder of city, from who they took their name, as it also happened with a lot of other ancient cities. Most likely, however, is that the name is Pre-Hellenic. 

The older ancient evidences in the region where the ancient municipality of Acharnes was developed are dated back in the Neolithic years. From the geometric years (11th-8th century B.C.) are in existence abundant archaeological testimonies which mainly emanate from excavations of graves in a lot of places of ancient municipality.

Most of the discoveries from the region of Acharnes are dated back in classic and Hellenistic years (5th-2nd century B.C.) and in their majority emanate from cemeteries that were excavated in all the extent of current Acharnes, parts from the road network of city, parts of pipes that belonged to the “archanian sewer”, an important hydraulic work of 4th century which supplied with water Acharnes and all the around municipalities. Also, by the road network of this era a lot of discoveries were saved.

The minimal residences of classical season, period of acne of municipality, which have been found in Acharnes can be probably attributed to the distribution of built-up cores in which the municipality was been organised, to the very big extent which this occupied and to the destruction of usually small residences of classic season from the bigger Roman built-up installations, as many times under Roman walls we find older ones of classic season. The centre of ancient municipality, where probably would be the temples of Athina Ippias, Mars god and the theatre of municipality, appears that it was also then in the same region where is also found the current centre of municipality, as it shows us the very recent discovery of part of ancient theatre of Acharnes. Residues of also luxurious houses or public buildings were also found in the central square of municipality, in front of the Historical and Folklore Museum (elaborate architectural parts and a part from the lower part of a statue of feminine form of classical years).

Contrary to the rarity of built-up elements from the classic period, a lot of residues from the Roman and Post-Roman era are saved: graves, residences, rural and workshop installations, baths, pipes, etc. 

The habitation of area during the Post-Roman and Byzantine years is supplemented by big country-houses. Moreover, the importance of region from a military side declares also the abundance of fortifications in the hills around Acharnes. The habitation of Acharnes was also continued in the years that followed. The uninterrupted continuity of habitation in the region until the newer years is confirmed by a lot of temples of Acharnes and Parnitha which are dated back in the Byzantine and post Byzantine years.

Acharnes was the most main built-up and economic centre after the city of Athens during Ottoman domination.

Finally, particularly interest is that in old small churches of Acharnes (Agia Triada in Parnitha, Agios Sotiras, Agioi Saranta, Agios Ioannis) are nowadays  visible individual architectural parts from ancient buildings that were used as a building material in a second use.

Monuments

Important monuments of Acharnes are considered:
- Mycenaean Vaulted Tomb in Kokkinos Milos 
- “Tomb of Sophocles” in Varibobi
- Ancient Theatre in a central section of city (Salaminos street)
- Aqueduct of Adrian (Roman one) 
- Archanian Sewer (irrigation work)
- Roman Country-house

Apart from the above monuments, residues from the road network, built-up cores, drain, irrigation works and cemeteries constitute in a first place the material evidences from which we receive information about the public and private life of Acharnes in the prehistoric and ancient years.

Byzantine Years

The uninterrupted historical continuity of habitation in the region until the newer years is confirmed by a lot of churches of Acharnes and Parnitha which are dated in the Byzantine and post Byzantine years with excellent internal decor. The earthquake however of 1999, even if it involved irreparable damage in the monuments, simultaneously brought to light appreciable murals (whitewashed ones).

Characteristic Byzantine churches are:  Agios Nikolaos in Agia Sotira and Agia Triada in Parnitha Mountain.

Frank Occupation - Ottoman domination-Revolution of 1821

First historical information in the era of Frank Occupation on the existence of villages and installations in Menidi is the bull of Pope Inokentios the 3rd which was published in 1209. A report in the name, also takes place in the records of taxation during Ottoman possession.

Acharnes was the most main built-up and economic centre after the city of Athens during Ottoman domination. In the municipality was organised a revolutionary headquarters and began the armed action with an important military body. The Greek rebels persecuted Turks in May of 1829. In the long-lasting bloody fight were distinguished as leading forms of revolution the chieftains Chasias Meletis, Tzevas Lekkas, Gikas, and Nikas and were elected as heroic physiognomies – the Fighters of Menidi of ΄21.

20th-21st century.

The first community was founded in 1835 according to Royal Decree and was established by indigenous residents. Following then, the community was strengthened by Albanians, people form Aegean Sea, Cretans, Thessalians, Macedonians, Epirotes, repatriated Pont's inhabitants from the Soviet Union, Homogenous people from North Epirote,  economic immigrants, etc. Apparently, a demographic composition is certified which is also confirmed by the existence of enough cultural associations within the limits of Municipality.
Nowadays, Acharnes is one of the biggest in extent municipalities of prefecture, which was characterized as an Olympic municipality among others in 2004. We should also point out that the demographic movement which the region presents is particularly dynamic, in a level that in our days the population of Acharnes reaches the 120.000 residents.

The municipality constitutes a pole of installation of productive units of secondary sector. A high concentration of manufacturing units such as industrial ones and manufactures, warehouses of wholesale trade and showrooms of companies is observed due to the relatively cheap ground and non-existence of control of latter. A big part of population is occupied in industrial and craft-based units.

The municipality of Acharnes constitutes the point of departure and report for the mountainous volume and the natural suburban environment of Parnitha.
 

Το παρόν έργο συγχρηματοδοτήθηκε από το Ευρωπαϊκό Ταμείο Περιφερειακής Ανάπτυξης (ΕΤΠΑ) καρά 80% και από Εθνικούς Πόρους κατά 20%
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