The port of Zea or Pasalimani in Piraeus

port of Zea The picturesque port of Zea or formerly Pasalimani is the second largest port of Piraeus with a circular shape. Zea is the center of Piraeus’ entertainment activity and one of the most popular places for entertainment, also known as Pasalimani. The coastal Tryphonos Moutsopoulou street is full of restaurants, cafes and department stores, but the large Kanari square located on Grigoriou Lambrakis opposite the Ministry of Merchant Shipping is the place that gathers the most people all year round, thanks to the many cafes. In Zea is the theater of Avlaia, the ancient theater of Piraeus and large private clinics.

One of the most important sights of Piraeus is the stone clock of Zea on the green elliptical islet, located at the junction of Lambraki Street and Moutsopoulou Street next to Kanari Square, known as an egg due to its shape. The clock was built in 1940 during the mayorship of Michalis Manouskou through the budget of 117 million drachmas allocated by the then Metaxas government for the reconstruction of the center of Piraeus. In the post-war period, the area around the stone clock was for many decades a well-known meeting and meeting place, until it was moved in recent years to the neighboring Kanari square.

In ancient times it was the largest of the three war ports of Athens, Zea, Mounichia and Kantharos (today’s central one the Piraeus port ), but also of the Greek area in general, since it included more houses than the other two, in a radial arrangement on of his beach. This port was called “Zea” by the ancient Athenians, as confirmed by an inscription found in the harbor in front of today’s Kanari Square, on which there was the contract of the “En Zea Treasury of the Attic Navy”.


History of port of Zea

These two war ports, Zea and Munichia, were built in 493-492 BC. the fleet, with which the Athenians faced the Aeginites and later the Persians. This fact testifies that on the beaches of these small ports it seems that the most experienced shipbuilders of the time had gathered, who built that great program of developing naval power. Following a rational way of development, they placed around them the naval buildings (yards, new housing), as well as all the related buildings for private and public use. Perhaps it was the first time that the area was studied in such a way that the shipbuilding speed exceeded any previous shipyard in the entire ancient Greek area.

The installation of nascents should not be considered as the result of some gradual development, since they did not exist before, but only after a thorough study by surveyors, military, meteorologists and other specialists, as inferred from the findings. The settlement of the workers occupied the south-western slopes of the hill of Munichia towards the port of Zea.

Among these settlements and port facilities were the barracks, the storehouses of shipbuilding materials, the tool sheds (for storing hanging and wooden utensils), the entertainment and assembly areas of the crews, the various craft workshops, (carpenters, machine shops, etc.) which dealt with the supply, maintenance and repair of ships. These laboratories must have worked under government orders and probably had financial autonomy, following certain instructions and conditions each time.

This early “industrial zone” around the two war ports seems not to have been included later in the Hippodamian zoning of Piraeus. The military naval station of Zeas seems to have been separated from the rest of Piraeus by a wall at a distance of 37 meters from the beach. Around the wall there was a wide street with landmarks that defined the naustham area. This zone connected the two seas from land and within it was the ancient theater of Munich, at half the distance from the port of Zea to the top of the hill.