One of these historic coffee shops that you should visit is ”Oraia Hellas” (beautiful Hellas) at Monastiraki in Athens. It was established after the liberation of the Greeks by the Ottomans and was the center of Athenian political and social life for more than 50 years. It was a luxurious meeting point for citizens and travelers of Athens. If you were searching for information or if you had information or opinions to share, that was the place to do so.
This unique café is located in a beautiful neoclassical building where the Gerolymatos family used to have their textile company. Since 1980, their vision of a place that would be host to pure Greek culture has been manifested here. As you first step through the doors, you may wonder if you are in a cafe or a museum. The Greek Culture Center where artisan exhibitions and cultural events are hosted takes over much of the massive building.
Here, collections from traditional artisans from all over Greece are exhibited for all to admire. Ceramics from Sifnos Island, wooden pieces from Skyros, woven clothes from Crete, Macedonia… every corner of Greece is somehow present here. Old gravures, paintings, and photos decorate the walls by informing and educating the lucky visitor.