Fountains in Athens have been going through a period of intense restoration due to a Municipality of Athens initiative which plans to revamp 34 fountains around the city.
Water features have long played an important role in Greek city life and it was announced on May 11 that the inspiring project, which began to undertake the restorations in 2019, has already completed work on 20 fountains so far.
Athens restores fountains central to city life
Fountains are central to Athenian communities, acting as a gathering spot, a source of urban beauty and even sometimes serving the vital function of cooling down Greeks during the sweltering Summer months.
They are visited by tourists and Greek citizens alike, and most neighborhoods are organized around a central meeting spot which often takes the form of a fountain.
Unfortunately, most of the city’s fountains had been left to the mercy of the elements for years, most likely because of the economic crisis. A stagnant, seemingly abandoned fountain is sadly not an unusual sight when walking around Athens.
Many now look a lot worse for wear following this period of neglect — however, the Municipality of Athens has now chosen to take action about the issue.
The Municipality has said the goal of the project is to “make (fountains) part of the city’s decor as well as part of the everyday life of residents and visitors that walk, play and live in parks and squares.”
Beginning with what can undeniably be termed one of the largest and most significant projects of the whole initiative, the Municipality renovated a fountain found in the middle of Omonoia Square, downtown Athens. The project, which began in mid-2019 and was completed in February of 2020, breathed new life into what was once a run-down square.
Restoration project has momentum
It is clear that the Municipality has put this project high up on their priority list, as works have moved quickly since beginning in 2019.
Deputy Mayor Sakis Kollatos stands at the helm of the project. Under his direction, specialized crews associated with the Municipality carry out cleaning, repair and restoration works for fountains across Athens.
Restoration includes repairs to drainage and electric lighting systems, construction works, waterproofing, and even marble restorations. These works will do a great deal to improve not only the functionality but also the looks of fountains around the city.
Some of the fountains on which restorations have been completed thus far include those situated in the squares of Metaxourgeio, Rigillis, Messologiou, Attikis, Agios Nikolaos, Fokionos Negri, Patision and Egiptou.
The fountains next to the Truman statue in Plaka and at the junction of Vekouxou and Dimi Street are also operating as if they were brand new.
The Municipality of Athens plans to continue on this trajectory in order to complete works on a total of 34 fountains across the capital city.