This page is dedicated to my mother, Catherine (Nitsa) Frantzeskakis, born in 1931, who, along with her father Haridemos (Prodromidis) Gertsos, mother Mathilde, and two sisters, settled here in Thesseion, in 1936, having fled Constantinople in fear for their lives, to start a new life in Greece. They spent several years on Flamarionos Street, until they moved to the neighborhood of Gargaretta, Koukaki, at the foot of the Acropolis hill, where I was born...
Thesseion (also Thiseio, Thisio or Thissio) is the name of a historic neighborhood in the heart of Athens, NW of the Acropolis, 1.5 km SW of downtown, and 1 km SW of the Athens City Hall. Its name derives from the Temple of Hephaestus, formerly known as Thesseion, as it was, in earlier times, considered to be a temple honoring the hero of the city of Athens Thesseus. At the intersection of Apostolou Pavlou and Adrianou Streets, a vandalized statue of Thesseus by sculptor Georgios Vitalis (1838-1901), is positioned so that the hero may view the historic Athenian neighborhood that bears his name, honoring him for his brave expedition to Crete that resulted in the killing of the mythical Minotaur and releasing the Athenians from the unbearable taxation that the Minoans had imposed upon them.
The Temple of Hephaestus, formerly known as that of Thesseus.
Thesseion takes in the ancient Agora,the neighborhood of Petralona, and Kerameikos, which includes the Assomaton Square. The area has numerous cafes and meeting points, which are most crowded during summer, but not only, and is served by the nearby overground train station of the same name. Apostolou Pavlou pedestrian street connects Thesseion Train Station to the entrance of the Acropolis and is a pleasant pedestrian street lined with coffee-shops and eateries. Both the Acropolis and the Agora archaeological site are clearly visible from Apostolou Pavlou street. Herakleidon street, running from Apostolou Pavlou toward the west leads to the Gazi area. Again Herakleidon is full of cafeterias and mezedopoleia (eateries offering drinks and some snack food to go with). Melina Merkouri Cultural Center is at the west end of the same street.
The main square of the neighborhood of Thesseion, known up until recently as Thesseion Square, was officially renamed in honor of the French Franco-Greek philologist, classical scholar, fiction writer and world-renowned Grecophile, Jacqueline Worms de Romilly (1913 – 2010) primarily known for her work on the culture and language of ancient Greece, and in particular on Thucydides. A professor at the Sorbonne, she was promoted to the chair of Greek and the development of moral and political thought at the Collège de France — the first woman nominated to this prestigious institution. In 1988, she was the second woman ever to enter the Académie française. She obtained Greek nationality and later was named as an Ambassador of Hellenism by the Greek government.