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Panepistimiou Av.


Panepistimiou Street (Greek: Οδός Πανεπιστημίου) (named after the University of Athens the central building of which is on the upper corner) is a major street in Athens that runs one way for non-transit vehicles since 2002 from Amalias Avenue, Syntagma Square and Vassilissis Sofias Avenue to Omonoia Square in which is now a pedestrian crossing and before an intersection. Its total length is about 1.2 km. The street was formally renamed as Eleftherios Venizelos Avenue in the 1980s (after the famous Prime Minister), but is still known by its historical name. It has six lanes, of which five are for traffic and one eastbound lane for transit buses only. Most of the street runs almost diagonally from southeast to northwest.

Buildings along the street include the Bank of Greece, Athens Eye Clinic, the University of Athens, the Academy of Athens, the National Library, the Numismatic Museum, Titania Hotel, Attica Department Store,as well as a part of the Grande Bretagne Hotel and the Catholic Cathedral of Athens. Many buildings as high as ten to fifteen stories line this street. Old neoclassical buildings of no higher than two to three stories used to exist until the 1950s, when a construction spree, which lasted several decades, demolished all but a few of them.


History

Originally a two-way street until after the Greek Civil War with bus lanes, traffic lights on major intersections as well as street lights were installed in the 1950s. Several classic films were shot in this street. The Athens Metro Red Line runs underneath with stations linking with this street including the Panepistimiou station. During construction which lasted from 1997 to 2001, part of the underground soil was removed to make the underground subway system, causing a hole of 22 m below and a sinking of the street of about 4 m. Workers filled the hole with concrete so that traffic can resume. In the 2000s, the transit buses which can run eastbound can now run two way and is at the lower end of the street.

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