Municipality of Athens: we are opening a new chapter in the life of Varvakeion – K. Bakoyannis: “Athens’ emblematic market is ready to write its modern history”

Athens’ historic market, which has adorned the city for 136 years and has been inextricably linked to its culture, daily life and history, has undergone a radical change of appearance.

The emblematic district market, home to hundreds of traders for decades, is being upgraded for the first time in 20 years, with new modern infrastructure that will allow it to maintain its leading role in the economic life of the capital.

The Municipal Authority has completed the total reconstruction of the shelters and building infrastructure of the sales areas located on the lower side of Varvakeia, addressing the chronic operational problems that have plagued for many years the people who worked or visited the market.

The €1.5 million project was completed in seven months, and throughout the works the shopkeepers did not stop their activities, as they were relocated to temporary premises located in the upper part of the market on Athinas Street.

At the heart of the works was the historic Varvakeio market, which had suffered significant damage from the devastating “Ballos” natural disaster that hit the centre of Athens in October 2021. The technical services proceeded with a barrage of technical interventions, completing the project in record time.

“Varvakeios is turning a page and is ready to write its modern history, now with new infrastructure that preserves its historicity while enabling the city’s merchants to upgrade their services to Athenians. The project became a reality in record time, allowing Athenians to visit a modern Lachanagora. A market as our citizens deserve it. A market we can be proud of”, said the Mayor of Athens Kostas Bakoyannis.

“The redevelopment of Varvakeion was a project that needed to be done but no one took the initiative to get it started. Fortunately, the Mayor, keeping his ears open, created this masterpiece for the market. It will create a different atmosphere, it will give a different aesthetic, it will give a different weight to the health protocols and to the competition and to the presence and image that we have in general as a market in the whole part of Athens. This space is a model for us. We have been working here for many, many years and will continue to do so for many years to come. This is the beginning of a new start,” said the President of Varvakioioi Orchards Konstantinos Vassilopoulos.

All the interventions that have radically changed the image of Varvakeion

The wooden frames of the shelters and their existing covering in the outdoor sales areas along Aristogitonos and Armodiou pedestrian streets were replaced.

The new frame of the shelters was made of metal, for static and sustainability reasons, and covered with special polycarbonate sheets which offer greater protection from the sun.

Furthermore, awnings with aluminium arms and waterproof cloth were installed, while new LED luminaires were installed on the canopies, in two parallel light lines.

The insulation of the small gardens was restored with synthetic membranes to permanently address the problem of water ingress into the shops.

But the change in the interiors of the shops is also spectacular, with the technical team of the municipality carrying out a total renovation. The crews removed the dampness that endangered both workers and consumers, installed new ceramic tiles and replaced the suspended ceilings.

At the same time, they made improvements to the floors with specialised materials to meet the standards required for sanitary areas, installed stainless steel sanitary-type sinks and completely reconstructed the refrigeration chambers, replacing their old, non-functional – in several cases – motors.

“The historic market of Athens, Varvakeios, is changing its appearance, regaining its glamour and with the technical interventions of the Municipality of Athens, it is now ready to welcome professionals and consumers alike, in modern and hygienically safe facilities. The heart of the city will continue to beat loudly in Varvakeio”, said the Deputy Mayor of Urban and Building Infrastructure and City Plan, Vassilis Axiotis, who was responsible for the coordination and implementation of the project.

Photo Source: