History and museums, Natural sights
Palaio Faliro (Greek: Παλαιό Φάληρο, ; Katharevousa: Paleon Faliron, Παλαιόν Φάληρον, meaning "Old Phalerum" ) is a coastal suburb and a municipality in the southern part of the Athens agglomeration, Greece. At the 2011 census it had 64,021 inhabitants.
Palaio Faliro is situated on the east coast of the Phalerum Bay, a bay of the Saronic Gulf, 6 km southwest of Athens city centre. It is surrounded by other suburbs of Athens: Kallithea, Nea Smyrni, Agios Dimitrios and Alimos. The Pikrodafni stream flows into sea on the border of Palaio Faliro and Alimos.
The seaside area has been redeveloped for the 2004 Summer Olympics, and now contains a seaside promenade, several sports venues, a marina and the Park of Maritime Tradition, where museum ships are exhibited.
The neighbourhoods of Palaio Faliro are Amfithea, Batis, Edem, Panagitsa, Floisvos, Palmyra, Pikrodafni, Agia Varvara and Kopsachila.
Palaio Faliro takes its name from Phalerum, the main port of Ancient Athens before the port of Piraeus was developed in the 5th century BC.
In January 2005, a 1.8 m tall marble torso of a young man was found in the Pikrodafni streambed at the intersections of Pikrodafnis and Dimokratias Streets. The statue dates back to the 1st century AD, and was a copy of a 4th-century BC classical original that may depict Apollo Lykeios. It was said the statue could have been recently discovered by builders during construction work, and dumped in the streambed for fear archaeologists might stop the works if alerted to the find.
During the 2000s, especially during the Summer Olympics 2004, Palaio Faliro saw major improvements in its infrastructure, such as the establishment of the Tram Line 3 that serves the southern coastal area of Athens.
In 1925 Palaio Faliro was established as a local government Community (i.e. civil parish or township) with the Presidential Decree 27/8/1925.
In 1942, Palaio Faliro, together with Kalamaki, became a municipality, with K. Toufexí̱s as the first mayor. Kalamaki (now in Alimos municipality) was separated in 1945.
Mayors of Palaio Faliro
The municipal council has 41 members.
In the municipal election of 2014, the seats achieved by each party were as follows:
The main avenues of Palaio Faliro are the seaside Poseidonos Avenue, which connects it with the city and port of Piraeus and the southern suburbs, and the Andrea Syngrou Avenue respectively, which connects Palaio Faliro with the city centre of Athens. Palaio Faliro is served by the Athens Tram and by its Bus system. Palaio Faliro has a direct connection to the Athens International Airport via its express bus line X96.
The oldest church of Palaio Faliro is the chapel of St. George in Xirotagaro, next to the Museum of Naval Tradition. It was built probably in the 17th century, when the area was known by the Turks as Three Towers. Restored 1985.
The large church of St. Alexander is the metropolis of Palaio Faliro and is located in St. Alexander Street, the main commercial thoroughfare, at the corner with Alcyonis Street. In order to satisfy the spiritual needs of the growing population of Palaio Faliro the church was founded at the behest of the "Urban League of Palaio Faliro" on 5 June 1916, in honour St. Alexander, Archbishop of Constantinople. The foundation stone was laid by the then prince, later king, Alexander of the Hellenes. The church was completely rebuilt on the same site in 1952.
The Church of the Assumption of Mary is in Achilles Street. It is a large and imposing building on the model of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople. The first church was built in 1930 and burned down in 1969.
The church of St. Barbara, in St. Barbara Avenue, gave its name to the district of the same name in Paleo Faliro. Initially built in1936 as a wooden chapel, the current Byzantine style church was completed in 1965.
The church of Ayia Kyriaki, in Amfitheas Street, was founded in 1955 as a private wooden church. It became a parish church in 1957. The present stone building was built in 1964 and the site includes a separate stone tower at the corner with Palaeologos Street.
The Scouts of Greece have a Sea Scout Group in Palaio Faliro. Palaio Faliro also has an A1 water polo team named AC Palaio Faliro. Palaio Faliro is also home to its professional basketball club Paleo Faliro B.C., which is currently in the Greek Second Division.