The Finnish audience lacks a proper guidebook to the city of Athens, i.e. originally written in Finnish and not translated from another language. The first steps towards writing such a book were taken in 2002, and the project has subsequently been pursued at intervals since 2008, especially during field trips in Athens, after which the results have been written down in Athens and Helsinki. The project belongs to the field of dissemination of knowledge, over many different fields.
The book follows in the tradition of ancient and mediaeval peregrinators who wished to preserve and pass along their local knowledge to others. The text is a result of personal exploration of the city since 1973. It will cover a chronological list of the main events pertaining to the urban development and architecture of Athens from ancient times to the current day, followed by descriptions of fifteen walks in different sections of the city. These tours through the houses and sights of Athens also allow the author to talk about the life and customs of the Athenian people.
The book thus offers an architectural overview of the city and a story of the many people who have left their impression on Athens. During the last decade, modern Athens has developed enormously in both size and complexity, and as a result historical sites, houses and parks are constantly being affected by these changes. For the writer of a guide book this means being alert at all times. In Athens one has the pleasure of observing the surroundings when walking through the streets and visiting exhibitions on various topics, and, most importantly, through comments made by the Athenians themselves. While in Finland, this task is continued by meticulous reading of Athens’ English -language newspapers as excerpta of the Greek press news, as well as magazines and a wide range of publications about the cityscape and its inhabitants.
This book is being written under the auspices of the editorial house Otava, and is due in 2012. Its aim is to show what fascinating city Athens is, and to make it more accessible to the Finnish audience.