The House of Agia Filothei Η ΟΙΚΙΑ ΤΗΣ ΑΓΙΑΣ ΦΙΛΟΘΕΗΣ 96 Adrianou St., Plaka, tel.: 210 324 8861 Hours: Tuesday & Thursday: 11:00-13:00 & Sunday: 11:00-16:00
The historic mansion of Agia Filothei the Athenian, thought to be the oldest remaining house of Athens, fully restored, opened its doors recently. It is the mansion of the Byzantine family of Mpenizelos-Palaiologos, in constant use since the 16th c., which is being used for the needs of the non-profit philanthropic organization "Apostoli" (Mission) of the Athenian Archdiocese.
The whole building is a museum of sorts, since within it a visitor can identify important remnants of the historic course of Athens itself. Archaeologists found at a depth of almost 4.5 m (15 ft) ruins of the Roman City Wall. On the ground floor there are signs of older buildings dating to the 16th c., when St. Filothei lived, while in the upper floor which was added much later, we see a typical Athenian wealthy family house of the early and mid Ottoman occupation period.
Following its restoration the building retains the architectural elements of its history, such as the marble arch throughway on the ground floor, the spacious T-shape wooden veranda on the upper floor or the enclosed balcony on the South side with an Acropolis view, the fireplaces or the ornate skylights.
This house is related to the history of the city and the life and activity of Agia Filothei, an important Christian personality of Athens of the 16th c., who came from the aristocratic Benizelos family, during the period of the Turkish occupation.
After she became a widow at a very young age, she founded the monastery of Agios Andreas, which became known as the “Parthenon” because it was the refuge of young poor women, who were trained in some art or craft without having the obligation to become nuns. Agia Filothei was murdered in martyrdom by the Turks.