Nea Smyrni is a municipality and a southern suburb of Athens, Greece. At the 2011 census, it had 73,076 inhabitants. It was named after the former Greek city Smyrna (today’s İzmir in Turkey), from where many refugees arrived and settled in the Nea Smyrni area following the 1922 catastrophe of Asia Minor and the Great fire of Smyrna, as a result of the Greco-Turkish war.
Although there are few details about the ancient history of the area, in 2012, during works, ancient graves were unearthed on the side of Agias Sofias Street. The specific manner of burial is known as ‘burial by the roadside’. These ancient findings have already been unveiled by public authorities and are able to be visited.
Nea Smyrni began to be inhabited at the beginning of the twentieth century. Up until that point, it had not been inhabited in a systematic manner. At the time, it was intersected by an avenue which connected Athens and Phalerum, the ancient port of the city.
After the Asia Minor Disaster, the government decided to construct a settlement in the area for the refugees from Smyrna. Construction of this settlement began in 1926. In 1928, the population was just 210. By 1933, the area had become a true town with a population of 6,500. By 1940, there were 15,000 inhabitants. In 1944, with the end of the war, Nea Smyrni became a municipality.
Nea Smyrni was the site of multiple clashes between British Army forces and ELAS resistance forces during the so-called Dekemvriana of 1944. After the civil war, Nea Smyrni was incorporated into Athens.
Nea Smyrni is located about 4 km southwest of central Athens. The municipality has an area of 3.524 km2. Its built-up area is continuous with those of central Athens and the neighboring suburbs. It is the second-most densely populated municipality in Greece, following Kallithea. The main thoroughfare is Andrea Syngrou Avenue, which forms the northwestern border of the municipality and connects it with central Athens and the coast.
Location: Nea Smyrni, Athens, Greece
Filmed: July 2020
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