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The Benizelos Mansion in Athens

GreeceAthensMuseums › Benizelos Mansion
Updated: August 17, 2022
By Santorini Dave

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Rectangular room with built-in wooden couches and domed windows

The Benizelos Mansion is the oldest surviving house in Athens, and the one-time home of a Greek saint.

Tickets: Entrance fee is by suggested donation at the museum site.

Centrally-located in the Plaka neighborhood, the Benizelos Mansion, also known as the House of Saint Philothei, is the oldest surviving house in Athens, built between the 16th and 17th centuries. This two-story house is an excellent example of a konaki, a noble urban home with architecture found in Ottoman occupied cities, and gives visitors a sense of the traditions and lifestyles of Athenian aristocrats before the Greek revolution against the Ottoman Empire.

The residence’s original occupants were Angelos Benizelos and his wife Syrigi Palaiologina, wealthy Athenian aristocrats with Byzantine roots. They had a daughter named Revoula, a philanthropist who built hospices, shelters and schools, and fought for the freedom of Greek women enslaved into harems by the Ottomans. She was severely beaten and later succumbed to death from her injuries. Revoula Benizelos was canonized as Saint (Agia) Philothei, which translates to “friend of God”, and is now revered as a martyr; her relics are in a tomb at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Athens in Monastiraki. The house is a standing reminder of St. Philothei, a remarkable woman who despite every possible challenge fought for what she believed in and to protect the most vulnerable.

This small museum is well-worth a quick visit, with excellent explanatory signage in both Greek and English. Entrance fee is by suggested donation and goes to charity. Centrally located in Plaka, an easy 400-meter walk from Monastiraki Square and metro.

Benizelos Mansion Hours and Information

  • Hours: Tuesday and Thursday, 10am to 1pm. Sunday 11am to 4pm. Open on Wednesday during summer.
  • Website: archontiko-mpenizelon.gr
  • Location: Adrianou 96
  • Telephone: +30 210 324 8861
  • Admission Fee: Entrance fee is by suggested donation and goes to charity.
  • Parking: Street parking, nearby pay lots.
  • Nearest Metro: Monastiraki

The Benizelos Mansion

Sign for Athens' oldest home, posted on the exterior of a stone building.

The Benizelos Mansion in Plaka is Athens’ oldest surviving home, dating back to the 16th century. It was also once the one home of the revered Greek Saint Philothei.

Welcome sign next to stone pillars

The home-turned-museum makes an interesting, quick, and cost-effective stop when wandering through the Plaka neighborhood. There is informative signage posted throughout in Greek and English.

Exterior of a 2-story building with stone archways below and a wooden balcony above

Room with built-in wooden benches and an elaborate fireplace

Room with built-in wooden benches surrounding a central table

Beautifully-carved wooden cabinetry along a wall

Door with a decorated archway

Large high-ceilinged room with built-in benches and arched windows

Carved wooden windows above a built-in wooden bench

View of Athens buildings through a curved archway

View looking down at a stone courtyard with cafe tables and orange trees

Tables set beside orange trees in a stone courtyard

View of a stone courtyard through an arched passageway

Stone room with archways and a broken clay vessel

Clay vessel half-submerged in sandy ground

Stone room with benches in front of a projector screen

Stone-built room with a small window and a saint's icon displayed

Icon of the Greek saint Philothei

Stone passageway leading to an open doorway

Exterior of an Ottoman-style home with a secon story jutting out over a stone base

Grassy courtyard with a mural on one wall

Sign hanging on a metal fence, indicating that an ancient olive press lies on the other side

Ruins of an ancient olive press, with modern Athenian buildings in the background

Exterior of a stone building with wooden-shuttered windows

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