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Why are Greek cities so ugly?
As usual, there is a better answer than this answer. Vote #1 Yiannis Papadopoulos: Yiannis Papadopoulos’ answer to Why are Greek cities so ugly?
Two factors that have to be added though:
- The deluge of refugees coming to Greece in 1924. Athens was a beautiful city in the 19th century, as you can tell if you look around the backstreets of Plaka long enough. Greece simply didn’t cope with the sudden increase of its population by a third, whether the refugees were in shanty towns, or when they eventually got apartments of their own.
- Lack of maintenance (which correlates with Yiannis’ mention of poverty). I spent an evening in the Sint-Jans-Molenbeek suburb in Brussels, a few years before it became famous as jihadist HQ. It was cheap and near the railway station. And it reminded me intensely of Greek country towns. The same crap faded paint, the same blocky buildings, the same vague feeling of staleness.
And Yiannis, of course the Salonica waterfront is prettier than Athens. Hardly a fair comparison. 🙂 (And it’s still not as pretty as it could have been; on my last visit it did look a little run down.)