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Monastiraki, literally "little monastery" is a flea market neighborhood in the old town of Athens, Greece, and one of the main shopping districts in Athens. The area is named after Monastiraki Square, which in turn is named for the Panagia Pantanassa (Virgin Mary Queen of All) monastery church located within the square, its front visible on the left side of the image.

With its lively atmosphere, Monastiraki Square is the tourist center of Athens, due to its metro (underground) station and its proximity to many of the city's attractions and nightlife spots. The Monastiraki Metro Station serves both Line 1 and Line 3 of the Athens Metro.

The Pantanassa church was established in the 11th century and the present church dates back to the 17th century. It was one of the most important parish churches of Athens, however, at the end of the 19th century, due to archeological excavations and the construction of the nearby metro station, the church lost most of its monastic buildings and was downgraded to a "monastiraki".

In the background is the 18th century Tsisdarakis mosque, which now houses a ceramics museum, and the Acropolis in the distance.

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Additional Photos by Mihai Raul MRB (mikee) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 301 W: 117 N: 654] (2354)
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