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Location DB > Greece > Attica > Parnitha > Hotel Xenia
 Name
Hotel Xenia
 Viewing Options
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 Database Info
created by SoupMeister on 7/18/2006 7:35 AM
last modified by SoupMeister on 7/18/2006 10:09 AM
 Viewability
Publically Viewable Publically Viewable
This location has been labeled by its creator as Public, and therefore can be viewed by anyone.
 Overview
 Description
A large, five-floor hotel used as a school for people interested in the hotel and catering business.

This hotel is very near the top of Parnitha (or Parnes, Parnis, Parnetha, depending on whom you ask and how they like to transliterate the name), the largest and highest of the three mountains surrounding Athens. You can reach it either by taking the cable car from the foothills, getting off at the Parnitha Casino and walking, or by driving up miles and miles of incredibly narrow, winding roads shared with people driving down on the way back from the casino with no money and nothing to lose (dangerous!).

Some warnings about the location:

It's now used by local paintball groups and photographers alike. If you're there, make sure there aren't any paintball games in the building. Make your presence known if there are. These are nice people, but you might get marked if you walk round a corner and startle some Tippman-wielding camo-wearing paintball addict (I'm one, I should know). Paintballs hurt, and they can damage your equipment (and eyes, if they hit you in the face).

Although the building is brick and concrete (wooden floors are unusual in Greece due to the quakeproofing laws), mind your head. Plaster is falling left right and centre. The staff area of one of the floors (the laundry room on the second floor, I think) has been burned (very irresponsible, in the middle of the last remaining national park of Athens). A breathing mask may help you there.

This is in a national park! Abide by the rules and laws. There is to be no camping or open flame anywhere. The park rangers WILL arrest you if they see you damaging the park. They don't care what you do in the hotel, but they DO care what you do to the surrounding area. Don't litter, either.
 Basic Information
Type: Building
Status: Closed
Accessibility: Easy
Recommendation: worth the trip
 Physical Information
Address

Parnitha, Attica
Greece
Owner: EOT, the Greek Tourist Organisation
  • See a map of this location
  •  Hazards
  • Unsafe walls (brick and plaster), partially collapsed stairwells, miscellaneous quake damage. Hints of asbestos in the machine rooms. Soot and potentially toxic leftovers from the second floor fire. Paintballers.
  •  Interesting Features
    Astounding views of all of Attica on the way up there. Fantastic nature (yews and some firs and other high-altitude conifers). One of the three large buildings at the top of this mountain (the others are the 'Mont Parnes' casino and a TV broadcasting tower, both very active). An interesting study in what quakes can do to a large building. And, scavenging aside, a building that's not been ravaged by taggers (too difficult to get to, if you're 12 years old).
     Security Measures
  • Doors and windows being bricked up
  •  Historical Dates
    Built: 1963
    Closed: 1981
     Required Equipment
  • flashlight
  • breathing mask
  • head protection
  •  Recommended Equipment

     History
    Xenia was built in the Sixties. Even though it was designed to be 100% functionally equivalent to a hotel, it was used as a college for vocations pertaining to the hotel business.

    Students and staff alike took board in the hotel, which was handy as it's not the easiest thing to get to! Presumably, students and staff took turns catering for one another, while taking classes in various specially adapted rooms, mostly on the ground floor of the building.

    Controlled by the Greek state's Tourist Board (along with a few other hotels in various parts of the country, all called 'Xenia' -- hospitality), it was abandoned in 1981 after the area was hit by a destructive earthquake, the same earthquake that's responsible for a good percentage of the ruined, extremely dangerous abandonments you can find in the less popular parts of Athens. The structural damage made the building dangerous, and it was extremely difficult to get the necessary equipment and machinery up there to either rebuild or repair it.

    Over the years, it succumbed to the usual raids by looters and is now little more than a naked shell -- but with some interesting features still intact!

    The last photos I saw from this place, from 2004, showed equipment and machinery still in place in the kitchens and plant rooms. It's now all been scavenged with the exception of one lift motor and one dumbwaiter motor. Yes, that's it! Even the balcony rails are gone (only one of them remains).
     Media Coverage

     Future Plans
    While I was there, construction workers were bricking up the doors and windows (some of the photos I took of the basement became impossible to shoot again WHILE I was there, as the workers bricked up window after window).

    I think the building is staying, but only because it'd be far too much effort to do anything about it. Even getting the bricks up there must have been difficult.

    There were, apparently, plans to refurbish the hotel and upgrade it to a luxurious building for the Olympics, but given the state of the building, I'm not sure this was such a bad idea. At any rate, the plans were clearly abandoned.

    However, expect access to be severely limited when they brick up the windows. On the other hand, they look like they'll just be bricking up the first couple of floors, hoping for the best. Anyone with rudimentary climbing skills can get in there just fine.
     Stories


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     Photo Galleries
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    July 2006 Visit
    Sun, Jul 16th, 2006
    posted by SoupMeister
    7 pictures
     


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     Panoramas

    View from the Roof
    Sun, Jul 16th, 2006
    posted by SoupMeister
     Web Links
    Some photos from 2004 (the site itself is in Greek): http://www.dpgr.gr...play;threadid=6779
     Contribute

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     Moderator Rating
    The moderator rating is a neutral rating of the content quality, photography, and coolness of this location.

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     Validation
    This location's validation is current. It was last validated by Emperor Wang on 9/1/2006 11:14 PM.

     Latest Changes
  • on Sep 1 06 at 23:14, Emperor Wang validated this location
  • on Jul 20 06 at 14:33, SoupMeister updated gallery July 2006 Visit
  • on Jul 20 06 at 14:32, SoupMeister updated gallery picture p7164656u.jpg
  • on Jul 20 06 at 14:31, SoupMeister updated gallery picture p7164640u.jpg
  • on Jul 20 06 at 14:29, SoupMeister added some pictures to a gallery
  • on Jul 18 06 at 10:10, SoupMeister made this location available
  • on Jul 18 06 at 10:09, SoupMeister changed the following: Hazards, Security Measures
  • on Jul 18 06 at 10:07, SoupMeister changed the following: Hazards
  • on Jul 18 06 at 10:05, SoupMeister updated gallery picture p7164646u.jpg
  • on Jul 18 06 at 10:04, SoupMeister updated gallery picture p7164565u.jpg
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