Ekali (Greek: Εκάλη, Latin: Hecale) is an exclusive suburban community of Athens -- just about 20 km to the north of the city. Ekali sits between the Athenian plain and the Penteli mountains. The plain is to the west; the forests at the foot of the Penteli mountain range lie to the east. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Kifisia, of which it is a municipal unit.
Ekali is accessed via an interchange with GR-1/E75 (Athens - Lamia - Thessaloniki) at the 18th km near Varybobi, to the southwest. The Penteli mountains, mostly forested but now increasingly urbanized, lie to the east. The Cephissus River lies to the west. Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou lived in Ekali in his final years and the Greek media often used "Ekali" in the same way the British media use "Downing Street" or the American media use "the White House".
Ekali is located SE of Thiva, S of Euboea and Oropos, NE of Kifissia and N of the Attiki Odos (number 6).
The main street is Thisseos (Theseus) Avenue, which connects GR-83 with Dionyssou Avenue towards the communities of Dionysos and Rhea, as well as Leoforos Marathonos towards Drosia north of Ekali, and with Kifissia to the south. An automobile rest area is situated to the west in the service road of the superhighway.
Until the 1960s and the 1970s, farmlands covered the western part of Ekali. Urban development accelerated in the 1960s and the 1970s, with the establishment of luxury houses in the till-then mainly forested sections of Ekali. The construction of houses continued unabated in the 1980s and the 1990s, reaching all the way to the foot of the Penteli mountain. Housing construction continues to this day.
The street plan is mainly of mixed triangles and lines that run parallel, not as a grid. The streets lead to squares and circles and one main street connecting with GR-1/E75. In terms of urban planning, there are a couple of children's playgrounds, and a few squares (plateies), including Kennedy Square.
Ekali is purely residential, which means retail shops or commercial and professional businesses are not permitted within the community. Despite that, there are three kiosks (newsstands), one taverna restaurant, one hotel and a members-only country club (Ecali Club) operating within the community's perimeter. Ekali has a primary school, a secondary school, several churches, a monastery, and a privately owned acquifer providing independent water supply to the residents of the suburban community.
In Ekali was Gianni's Spyropoulos home, one of the most popular Abstract Greek painters. In 1990 after painter's death Spyropoulos Foundation was established there.
Sites of interest
Yiannis Spyropoulos Museum
Old Arsakeio School
List of municipalities of Attica
^ "Δείτε τη Διοικητική Διαίρεση" (in Greek). Hellenic Interior Ministry. www.ypes.gr. Retrieved 09 September 2009.
^ Kallikratis law Greece Ministry of Interior (Greek)
Medieval Greece / Byzantine Empire
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