Old photos

The first photo below was sent to me by my friend Anna, with the sole information that it came from the archive of Agnes Baldwin Brett. Elegant ladies walk in the snow between neo-classical houses under mount Lycabettus, in what today is Kolonaki Square, the chic quarter of Athens.

 

 

Looking up Agnes Baldwin Brett (1876 – 1955), I found out that she was an American numismatist and archaeologist who grew up in Newark, New Jersey. She attended Barnard College and Columbia University, and from 1900 she spent two years as a Fellow at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. While in Athens, Brett worked on the coin finds from the excavation at Corinth and also took a number of photographs. The one below is entitled ‘Delphi’, but I was unable to find out why there are camels there! I thought it was very amusing.

 

 

Finally, here’s a photo of what used to be called ‘The Great Road,’ which became the main retail high street in Athens, Odos Ermou, named after Hermes, the god of trade. It was one of the basic axes of the first urban plan of the city, designed by architects Kleanthis and Schubert in 1833.

 

 

And a later view, circa 1920 (unknown photographer). It has been paved, but as you can see it’s somewhat narrower, slices on each side having been appropriated by the owners of the buildings…

 

21 thoughts on “Old photos

  1. I absolutely love historical photos, especially when accompanied by information. Athens was lovely in the 1800s. Odd that I’ve seen so many paintings of what the area must have looked like thousands of years ago when Athens was built, and many photos of the city today, but have never thought about the intervening years. It wasn’t a lost city – it’s always been occupied.

    And I love your spotted horse painting.

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    1. After the liberation from the Turks, the allies brought in a German architect to help Kleanthis and that’s when all the neo-classical houses were built, which survived until my mother´s time, when a lot were torn down to make way for blocks of flats. Some still survive, of course, and they’re lovely. But at that time, Athens was a village of small houses under the Acropolis.

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  2. Great photos! I wonder if the camels are holdovers from the Ottomans – camels were a very popular means of transportation. We still see a lot of them in Egypt, but I think they are mostly for food these days. ;^)

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