At the night of December 4, 2009 a tragic event took place. A child, named Solon Karidakis attempted to cross the Kiffisias Avenue with a group of friends, but, unfortunately was left slightly behind and a vehicle whose driver ran a red light, hit him and abandoned him, severely injured on the street. Solon fought bravely for a period of time, but in the end lost. He was gone. His death was a tragedy for the family, the students and the school where the child was going, the well known Athens-Psychico College and a shock to thousands Greek citizens.
For a very long time, many people wanted a bridge to be constructed in that part of Kiffisias Avenue, as similar events were frequent. However, there was a complexity in the construction, as in one of the sides of the bridge there are restaurants and cafeterias, and the two sides belong to different neighborhoods, the one to Filothei and the other to Chalandri, making it more difficult to collect the necessary permits from the local authorities. Thus, the students and staff of Athens-Psychico College, Arsakeia Schools and other nearby schools, and many local citizens participated in a great demonstration at Kifissias Avenue in order to gain the permits they needed. Their request was finally accepted and the Hellenic American Educational Foundation supported the construction financially and provided additional assistance. The construction team was from the office of Mr. Alexandros Samaras, and it is essential to mention that one of its members was the father of Solon, Mr. Fedon Karidakis.
The bridge is one of the most innovative ones in the city of Athens. As you can see in our pictures, its shape is very different than the others in the area nearby and is also strongly connected with art. There are four elevators, as well as escalators and stairs, for the comfort of the public. Additionally, there are two paintings of a very well known Greek poet, named Odysseas Elytis accompanied by two of his quotes . They were given by his life partner, poet Ioulita Iliopoulou. Another interesting fact, is that on the one side of the bridge there is a special area for graffiti. The graffiti was chosen during a competition, and the work of the winning team decorates the bridge. In the other side of the bridge, there is an inscription, where is written “For Solon.. “
The bridge will always be there as a reminder of the young Solon, an adolescent who lost his life and his opportunities so early in life, and is missed by the people to whom he was dear. He and his story will always remain in our hearts.
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Location: Solon Karidakis bridge, Athens, Greece
Filmed: Dec 2020
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