The traditional Plateia in Rethymno

Plateia Rethymnon

In ancient Greece Platia was the name of a main street in an ancient Greek city, in particular a representative developed road, which was lined by colonnades around... In cities that were created after the Hippodamian scheme, Plateiai formed the wide main roads running along the lateral sides of the rectangular plan blocks. They were joined by many smaller cross streets Stenopoi. (Source: Wikipedia)

In modern Greece, the outspoken term Platía refers to the main square of a place which especially in the evening makes up the social center of a village with cafes, taverns, playgrounds. Around the square catering establishments are often located, provide the seating on the mostly rectangular square. Usually at the corners of the Platia are kiosks called Periptero located (source: Wikipedia).

However, the Plateia is not only an open space in building development. It is also - it is the village square, a small square in a limited area, or a great place to a church around, or a crossroads, the social center of a community of neighbors. Also in Rethymnon there are many such communities. Often no one knows the street names exactly, but if you ask for the name of such a small comminity, everyone knows where it is located. Especially in the long summer, when social life in general is happening outside nof the houses, old and young, families, visitors and passersby are gathering on the Plateia. You are sitting on benches or on the chairs of the Plateia edged Kafenia, enjoying the shade of the trees, talk with each other and discuss the news or just looking quietly and happily people promenading.

At times of municipal or parliamentary elections, the politicians who want to be elected deliver their speeches on the big squares of the mega-cities like Athens and Piraeus, and on the large and small squares of the cities, towns and villages of Crete and Rethymno. In the villages around Rethymnon such campaign events are often associated with catering of visitors and turn into a joyful celebration with music and dance.

Some ten years ago, the towns on Crete have restricted traffic in the inner cities at least in the period from April to October for at least 20 hours a day. Streets become boulevards and intersections turn into Plateiai. Locals and tourists alike take this offer equally grateful.