Lekka Street: The Silver Way
One particularity of Athens is that stores selling identical items tend to group in one particular area. When it comes to silver, Athenians would immediately refer to Lekka Street near Syntagma Square. There you will find a wide variety of silver items ranging from jewelry to silver cutlery and silver accessories.
Greek families would typically visit Lekka street silver stores on preparation for a special event such a baptism or a wedding. On an Orthodox baptism, the witness shall distribute to invitees pins called in Greek “martirika” with a small silver cross. On a wedding, a silver item gift for the home or a silver personal accessory is always appreciated.
Lekka 23-25, 10562, Athens, Greece
This is one of the most established silver stores in Athens. It works pure silver since decades, keeping up with the tradition of ancient Athens craftsmanship excellence and authenticity. Their collection ranges from traditional silverware (tableware, cutlery and candlesticks), to jewelry with precious stones and diamonds. The store also handles personalized commissions, creating unique handmade customized items that carry a logo or special engraved message. Finally, the collection includes items with reference to the Greek history such as the silver crown and the olive palm. All pictures in this post are taken from this store.
Perikleous Street 10, 10562, Athens, Greece
Zoulovitz on Lekka street is more known for cutlery, kitchenware and dinnerware rather than silver. Still, they do have silver items like Orthodox wedding crown and silver plated disks.
Dragatis Andreas Silverware
Lekka 21, 10562, Athens, Greece
Lekka 29, 10562, Athens, Greece
Silver in Athens History
Ancient Athens power and wealth was mainly founded on silver. It was brought from Lavrium mines located 60km South-East from Athens, not far from Cap-Sounion. It is during the classical period that where produced the finest silver coins, notably the Tetradrachm of Athens in the 5th century BC. This is the well known Athenian silver coin with an owl relief on one side, and the portrait of Athena, patron goddess of the city. Because of the purity of the silver and high aesthetic quality of the coin, the Athenian Drachma became a dominant currency of the ancient world. Today, the one Euro coin for Greece depicts the copy of Tetradrachm.
Lavrium Silver Mines in Modern TimesLavrium silver mines were abandoned between the 6th and 19th century. After a prospection led by Greek metallurgist Andreas Cordellas in 1859, it was determined that large quantities of Lead, Zinc and Silver could be exploited. Two companies were founded: A Greek Company that worked till 1917, and a French company that stopped the exploitation in 1982.