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THE RIVER ILISSOS OVER TIME: From holy river to underground pipe

Date: 11-09-2018
Time: 21:30
Venue: 47th Book Festival In Zappeion (pavilion)

The event THE RIVER ILISSOS OVER TIME: From holy river to underground pipe, is part of "Athens 2018 World Book Capital" City of Athens, of which major donor is Stavros Niarchos Foundation.


Today we bury Illisos!

Ioannis Metaxas, 1939


Dimitris Theodosopoulos and Martin Baldwin-Edwards present the evolution of the Ilissos river through the centuries with relevant evidence. "The River Ilissos over time: From holy river to underground pipe." This is the social story of the Athenian river elaborated with historical maps, photographs, paintings and texts from antiquity till today. 

The presentations will be made by Martin Baldwin-Edwards (in English) and Dimitris Theodossopoulos (in Greek), with a duration of approximately 30 minutes. The story of how the people and city of Athens treated the River Ilissos over time is illustrated with rare antique maps and photographs from the online flickr archive of Martin Baldwin-Edwards along with texts and paintings from the archive of Dimitris Theodossopoulos, creator of the online resource Geomythiki.


Historical periods and themes:

Antiquity: Holy river – full of sanctuaries, temples and natural beauty.

Roman: Reconstruction - basically, nothing new, but still the river kept its holiness.

Byzantium: Abandoned – Athens just a village.

Ottoman: Major destruction.

Modern State: From taverns and beautiful walkways to the burial of the Ilissos.

Future: Goals and proposals – a new way of thinking about the Athenian landscape.







Dimitris Theodosopoulos has been practicing the field of Rural and Surveying Engineer since 2006 as a freelancer. In 2006 he was co-founder of the GEOMYTHIKI research, study and exploration team. From 2015 he is a member of "Roi" - Panhellenic Association for the rescue of Rivers. He has thoroughly studied the historical network of streams, especially in Attica, and is now actively involved in informing the world about streams and their proper management. He has published a large number of surveys, especially for streams on the Internet and especially for Ilissos.  





Martin Baldwin-Edwards is a British collector based in Athens. He is the former Director of the Mediterranean Migration Observatory at Panteion University, Athens; Expert Advisor for the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD), Vienna; and an Expert for the European Commission – DG Migration/Home and the Research Executive Agency.

He is an amateur collector of antique maps, postcards, photographs and books relating to Greece but specifically focused on Athens. Of especial interest is an emphasis on the “lost heritage” of Athens – socially important things (such as the River Ilissos) whose memories are preserved primarily through photographs and other historical records.

You can see the photographies about Ilissos here.



Athens 2018 World Book Capital - City of Athens is made possible thanks to its donors and contributors. Major Donor is Stavros Niarchos Foundation. Gold Donors are John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation and Core SA. Donors are Onassis Foundation, Welfare Foundation for Social & Cultural Affairs, Laskaridis Foundation and Greek Collecting Society for Literary Works (OSDEL). Valuable contributors are Aegean Airlines, Athens International Airport, and Urban Rail Transport SA (STASY).