The First Cemetery of Athens Part 2




This looks like a big bird cage in a jungle.


“Angel’ by famous Greek sculptor Giannoulis Halepas


An angel either pondering or telling us to be quiet.


‘Hoo are you looking at?’




I found out after visiting the cemetery that here are three other sculptures of ‘sleeping’ women in the cemetery. This is the only one I found that day.  It is the grave of a Maria Deligianni sculpted by Ioannis Vitsaris.



So unique. Never seen anything like this before.


The irony of the Greek word ‘Zoe’ which means ‘life’ on the cross of a grave.


A sculpture of a Greek style sphinx.


An Egyptian style sphinx .


The grave site of Greek commander and chief  of the revolutionary war of 1821 Theodoros Kolokotronis.


The inscription reads ‘Easy passerby here lies the old man of ‘Morea’ (Peloponnese) do NOT disturb his sleep.’ This is a message to would be invaders!


Richard Church an Irish military officer in the British army who helped the Greek army in the Greek revolution of 1821. He was good friends with Theodoros Kolokotronis.



‘The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living.’ Marcus Tillius Cicero.


‘The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.’- Mark Twain

This is the second blog post dedicated to the First Cemetery of Athens. I spent almost three hours (!) exploring the old cemetery. Time went by so fast and my camera would not stop clicking. After doing some more research on the cemetery I realized I had not even seen half of it. I might go back in the future because there are some other famous sculptures at at the far end of the cemetery.

I don’t know anyone personally who is buried here. You can only be a citizen of central Athens to be buried here. This is why I have never been to this cemetery before. Overall it was a great experience and I think everyone should visit a cemetery and leave and taboos and fears behind and pay their respect to those who have passed, and reflect on life and death rather than just being in the moment or being present all the time.


  1. The cemeteries of Europe are far from those of South America. The renowned sculptors planted their work in the cemetery of Athens and that gives it greater importance in terms of art. The cemeteries in this part are simpler. Only the families with a lot of money made mausoleums with sculptors. Most gravestones are common. Your article is very interesting because of the culture content it carries. Your photos are of the highest quality and allows us to appreciate the sculptures in all their splendor. Diaphruted this reading. Regards.

    1. Most of the cemeteries in Greece are very simple too. The First cemetery of Athens is more grandiose because most of the the wealthy Athenians of the 19th and 20th century lived in Athens. By law the graves of the wealthy had to be more ornate to blend in with cemetery. I think people were more luxurious back then. They liked to show off more 🙂 Glad you like the photos. Thank you for your comment!

    1. Yes, the owl is the symbol of the Goddess Athena. It symbolizes wisdom. I read that in ancient Roman folklore the owl is the harbinger of death. You won’t find owls in most cemeteries in Athens as it is a pagan symbol.

  2. Beautiful pictures and information. Your post was wonderful. I admire your talent. I love to visit cemeteries and try to do so whenever I visit a city. Last time I was in Athens I could not visit the cemetery but will make time next time. Greetings from Spain.

      1. My pleasure. You would love Spain in many ways and for many reasons…here in Valencia there is a beautiful cemetery. A friend and fellow blogger has made some wonderful photos there. I will send you his link

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