The Ioannis Makriyiannis Statue at the entrance to the Plaka in Athens

Ioannis Makriyannis Statue Athens

Real men wear skirts, don't they?
Guarding the entrance to Plaka is the Ioannis Makriyiannis Statue. Most walk by without knowing the fascinating history of who he was and what he stood for.

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Where is the Ioannis Makriyannis Statue Athens

Real men wear skirts, don’t they? About two minutes walk from the Acropolis Museum in Athens lies the Ioannis Makriyiannis Statue, who proudly wears such a skirt.

Standing there calmly waiting with his curved sword at the ready, and perhaps even guarding the entrance to the Plaka, most people walk by without realising who he was and what he stood for. So let’s take a look, shall we?

General Ioannis Makriyannis was born in 1797. Starting from humble origins and a poor family, he witnessed his father dying at the age of seven.

At 14, he decided to head for Epirus, seek his fortune, and eventually join the Greek revolution fight.

During the revolution, he fought so well he kept being promoted until he reached the rank of General in 1824 at just 27 years old.

When peace eventually struck, he moved to Athens, bought a farm below the Acropolis and became an outspoken politician. He is attributed to many political feats, including playing a significant part in granting the first Constitution of the Kingdom of Greece.

Not afraid to criticise anyone, including the then King Otto, in 1853, Ioannis Makriyannis was arrested and condemned to death for conspiracy against the King, in what has been called a pre-fabricated trial.

The prosecution brought up false testimonies and false evidence. Furthermore, the tribunal president, Kitsos Tzavelas, was a personal enemy of Ioannis Makriyannis.

Five out of the six judges voted for the death sentence and requested the King extend royal clemency. His sentence was commuted to life imprisonment by the King, but he only spent 18 months in prison.

Quite an exciting life, wouldn’t you say?

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