Old Pendeli
(Northern Athens)

A Historical Tour (Run & Walk) of the
Properties of the Duchess of Plaisance

Run 1753 (Monday 19th September 2011)

Hare: Mad Dog

Photographer: MD + Doggie Style

NOTE1: Use the horizontal scroll bar (bottom of screen) to view the panoramic photos.
NOTE2: The Lat. & Lon. coords can be copied and pasted into the Google Earth 'Fly-to' window.

- T H E     T R A I L -

The starting point & circle (P):   38° 2'53.98"N, 23°52'4.66"E   (The Tomb)

Altitude: 444 metres above sea level

Trail cartographic Length = 5.0 km

GPS track of the run - showing the location of the properties (Note North is down)

Note the round dome of the old observatory & the road leading to it can be seen at the top of the hill.


Altitude profile for the run (quite a bit of up and down !)


The 1.8 km walker's trail - with a great view of the summer palace (castle - or Kastello in Italian) & it's grounds & a rather steep return


- T H E     R U N -

The Duchess of Plaisance

Doukissis Plakentias in Greek - derives from the Latin name Placentia for the Northern Italian city & province of Piacenza
(The city was formerly a Roman stronghold called Colonia Placentia) which originated from the Latin verb, placēre, "to please." 
- hence the French name Plaisance which is an obsolete form of  Pleasance meaning  "pleasant abode" in English.

The French version Plaisance came into more common usage after 1802 when Napoleon Bonaparte's
army annexed the very strategic Italian province & city of Piacenza to the French Empire.

Got it? Yes? But now you need a drink! What a good suggestion!


The tomb of the Duchess - built by her protégé & friend's husband ( a wealthy banker)


Another view of the Duchess's tomb


La Maisonette

The Duchesse's first home in Pendeli - where she would entertain friends and from where she could watch
her Summer Palace (The Kastello Rododafne) being built a little further down in the mountainside.

The stables are to the left of the house where she kept her horses and carriage.


La Maisonette

The courtyard


La Maisonette

The large stables can be seen at the top-left of the satellite picture and the
formal gardens and the water-effect pond / pool behind the house.


The blue sign points to the palace


The rear entrance to the summer palace (or castle) of Rododafne (local term for Rhododendron).

The palace was built near a spring (now dried-up) that was surrounded by rhododendron bushes.


Panoramic view of the rear entrance and courtyard of the palace - with stables.


Side and front view of the palace - illuminated by the bright late-afternoon sun

View of the palace from a nearby hill


Satellite view of the summer palace clearly showing the courtyard and stables at the rear -
and the marble staircases leading to the front gardens (which must have once been magnificent).


Satellite view showing the area of garden presently left for the palace - which is now ringed by expensive properties.


Panoramic view showing Villa Plaisance behind the trees on the left and La Tourelle on the right.


La Tourelle was commissioned by the Duchess but building work stopped after she died.

Magnificient views over Athens were to be seen from the marble front balcony.


Villa Plaisance - originally built as a hostel for her transiting quarry workers
(who were quarrying marble for her summer palace in one of her 2 marble quarries on Mount Pendeli)
but later turned into one of the first hotels in Athens - then sited in beautiful forestland - where some
famous people reputedly stayed.

Front view of the villa


Front door with marble frame.

Note the traditional black cross made by present owners with a candle after the Easter midnight service.


Location of the Duchesses's Marble Bridge (border of Melissia & Vrilissia)

The trail did not take in this bridge as it was a little too far but the photos are added for completeness. It is literally just down the road from where some of our hashers live.


Marble bridge built by the Duchess as part of an infrastructure agreement with the Pendeli Monastery after her purchase
of large areas of land from them. This agreement also included building the road up to Pendeli.


Most drivers cross this bridge without realising it's magnificent marble construction.


The 5-arched bridge - partially obscured by summer vegetation growth in the river bed.

Originally designed for horses and carts, it's massive construction easily withstands the weight of modern cars.


Strength with elegance & built to last!


A huge amount of quarried marble had to be hauled down from the mountain by horse and cart to build this bridge.


- T H E     C I R C L E -

Convenient lighting from a lampost next to the tomb of the Duchess.

The runners resting after the run


Rim Job & Mountain Goat


GM Mad Dog gets the hare's down-down


Not a punishment but a instead a welcome thirst-quenching


Mountain Goat for doing his own thing along the trail


Shampoo George takes a relaxed DIO


Shag's DIO for mobile phone abuse


Rim Job & Clitoria


What's wrong Rim Job - you don't like our special mixture of beers ?


Rim Job is invited as guest RA...


and has some fun with Doggie Style


- T H E     T A V E R N A -

We convened to the popular Self Service "Taverna" in Old Pendeli
and stuffed ourselves on bifteki, chips, salad, etc. + lots of their tasty red house wine.









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                                                                        MD Feb. 2006

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