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Psychiko is a settlement and seat of the Municipality of Filothei Psychiko in the Northern Sector of Athens. The history of the suburb is located at the beginning of the 20th century and is connected with the idea of the garden city. At that time, after all, garden cities were an urban planning trend throughout Europe.
The name Psychiko has its origin from the neutral of the adjective psychic. It denotes the one who is given for the soul of a deceased. The specific place name was given because in this area a well was opened by a property owner, for the sake of the passers-by, in order to save his soul.
In 1908 the technical company KEKROPS, which owned the entire area that is today Psychiko, undertook the construction of the area with the layout, opening and construction of roads, the study and construction of infrastructure projects, the configuration of recreation and green areas , the creation of public spaces, the construction of public works and buildings, and the demarcation of plots for residential development.
Worth to visit
The imposing mansion on Diamantidou Street, which became known as the "Palace of Frederick", was bought in 1937 by King George II to house the bride and groom, Paul and Frederick. After the death of King Paul, it was the permanent residence of Queen Frederick. With the abolition of the kingdom, the Real Estate Company of the State, decided to sell it through an auction. To this day it remains abandoned.
Lighthouse of the Psychic
The area was named after a traffic light that was located on Kifissias Avenue until the interwar years. A car crashed into the lighthouse and caused a fatal accident in 1933 and has not been repositioned since. In the lighthouse of Psychiko is the modern work of art "Umbrellas" by George Zongolopoulos, a smaller variation of a similar sculpture from Thessaloniki. Also in the same area, next to the Libyan consulate, is the Libyan minority school, which also has a mosque for the religious needs of the community.
Church of Agios Dimitrios
The Church of Agios Dimitrios is located on Dimokratias Avenue and is dedicated to the patron saint of Psychiko, Agios Dimitrios. Its rhythm is inscribed cruciform with a dome and is made according to the spirit of the time, 1930.
The high income level of the inhabitants, the low building factor, as well as the strictly residential character of Psychiko (offices and shops are forbidden), created the right conditions for the construction of many houses of great artistic, historical and architectural interest in the area.
The garden character of the area and the policy against the development of professional activities protected the historic houses of the district from the mass demolition and the arrival of apartment buildings, as happened in many other areas of the basin in the first post-war years.
Psychiko as a newly built area with a good reputation and close to the centre of Athens was chosen as the location of a significant number of schools during the interwar and post-war years. There are some notable educational institutions / schools in the district:
- The Athens College and the Psychiko College are Greek schools of the Hellenic-American Educational Institution. It was founded in 1925, that is, just two years after the beginning of the works for the drawing of Psychiko. It is located in Psychiko on the border with Filothei and today is ranked among the best educational institutions in Greece.
- Arsakeio Psychiko (former girls' school) is a complex of Greek private school units of primary and secondary education, which belongs to the so-called Arsakeia - Tositseia Schools and is owned by the Educational Society.
- The Moraitis School was founded in 1936 and today is one of the most important in Greece and Europe and is particularly famous for its successes.
- Varvakeios Model School is one of the oldest schools in Greece. It began operating in 1860 in a building built at the expense of the national benefactor Ioannis Varvakis, in whose honour the School was named. Today, Varvakeio is a school with many innovations, with students who often receive distinctions in school competitions and graduates who make a career in Greece and abroad.
In the Municipality of Psychiko are located numerous Embassies and consulates.
In combination with the road planning of the model English garden city and the high income level of its inhabitants, Psychiko managed to maintain the character of the community until recent years. It is one of the greenest areas of Athens with a beautiful view, while there are several streets where you can see the residents enjoying their walk or a bike ride.