Kifissia (Greek, Modern: Κηφισιά ; Katharevousa: Κηφισσιά;, Ancient form/Latin: Cephissia) or Kifisia is a northern suburb of Athens, Greece. It has a city surface train station (ISAP or the Green Line), which is presently a part of Attiko Metro. The Kifissos is west of Kifissia. Half of the municipality is taken up by part of Penteli mountain. The rest is made up of urban areas in the west, the central and the east. The west central part of Kifissia is mostly industrial.
Quarters or Neighborhoods
Kifissia, as Cephissia, dates back to ancient times, along with the ancient municipality of Epicephesia.It was named after the river Cephissus. It is accessed by Kifissia Avenue, which runs from east of Athens up to Theseos Avenue in Nea Erythraia, which is named after this area as a road from Athens. It also has a steep curve and is two-laned.
A famous glass skyscraper which was built in the 1980s and was one of the tallest towers in Athens and area but not in Greece was part of the scenes used for the beginning of the episodes of ANT1's Lampsis in the late-1980s - 1990s. It had around 25 to 30 stories. A forest park is situated in the southeast which is filled with pine and some other types of trees and the boundary with Marousi. The glasses of the skyscraper was ruined and the building became abandoned in the late 1990s. The area also has a anti-cancer hospital named Agioi Anargyroi.
Kifissia, as Cephissia, dates back to ancient times, along with the ancient municipality of Epicephesia. It was the home of the dramatist Menander (circa 342-291 BC).
Kifissia became a famous resort of philosophers during the reign of the Roman emperor Hadrian, when the wealthy Herodes Atticus of Marathon, Greece built the Villa Kifissia. In his Attic Nights, Aulius Gellius describes the unique ambience of intelletual ferment and aristocratic leisure in an idyllic setting which he created there. It was also the practice of Herodes to provide free instruction in philosophy for selected youths from Athens. The remains of the some of his family funeral monuments lie at the centre of the town in Platonas Square. He also beautified a sanctary to the Nymphs in the ravine of Kokkinara, in the nearby district of Kefalari.
The history of Kifissia during the medieval period is obscure, but the remains of a monastery church dedicated to the Virgin of the Swallow (Panaghia Chelidonas)is associated with a story about a battle fought there between local people and unspecified "invaders". This chapel is a rare example of a monastery church originally provided with a fireplace, for the chimney remains.
During the Ottoman Period, in 1667, Kifissia was visited by the Turkish traveller Evliya Tchelebi. He described a small country town set in a fertile plain of paradisiac beauty, with three hundred tile-roofed houses. Half the inhabitants of the town were Muslims and half were Christian. He records that there was a single mosque, without a minaret, and many small Christian chapels - some of which survive today.
The temperature in Kifissia tends to be significantly lower than that of the city, so following the independence of Greece, it quickly became a summer resort of the ruling class of the new state. Although its popularity faded somewhat during the middle of the nineteenth century when the danger of raids by brigands who infested the nearby mountains was very real, the suppression of brigandage, and the arrival of the railway in 1885, led to the dramatic development of the area. It became the fashion for wealthy Athenian families to build summer houses in Kifissia, and keen social competition led to the creation of a unique architectural ambience, as villas in ever more exotic styles proliforated. For those unable to afford a summer house, many hotels were built, where the slightly less affluent could spend the holiday months rubbing shoulders with their social betters.
The heyday of Kifissia was probably during the inter-war period, when the leaders of the two main rival political parties frequented different hotels in the town together with their most important supporters.
Following the liberation of Greece from German occupation in 1944, the British Royal Air Force ill-advisedly made its headquarters in Kefalari, taking over several hotels. With the outbreak of the Civil War, the RAF personnel were first besieged, then forced to surrender, and marched across the mountains into northern Greece; being released in Trikala only after a truce had been arranged.
Today, Kifissia is an upmarket shopping centre, although many villas have been preserved.
The Villa Atlanta the work of architect Ernst Ziller (1837-1923)
The monastery chapel of the Virgin of the Swallow (Panaghia Chelidonas) (Source)
Menander (circa 342-291 BC) Dramatist
Andreas Empeirikos (1901 in Romania - August 3, 1975)
KAT Hospital (gr)