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The Monastery of Dafni

Dafni, also called Daphne, is a small suburb or neighborhood located in Athens, in an area called Chaidari, at about 10 km from the central area of the city. The monastery of Dafni is located within this suburb, and is a very interesting attraction which tourists should try to visit while being in Athens.

The Monastery of Dafni was built during the 16th century and is a clear example of Byzantine art work. Some time after its construction, French crusaders took control over the monastery, re built many parts of it, and gave it to the Monks of St. Bernard who gave it the name of Dalphinet, a name from which the actual denomination has derived.

During the following centuries after it was built, the Monastery of Dafni was used as a burial place for dukes and other important people in Athens. This became a regular activity during the époque in which Greece and specially Athens were controlled by the French and it became very common in Monasteries in other countries as well.

Nowadays, this monastery still contains many of its original structural elements and ornaments. This monastery is one of the finest and best conserved examples of Byzantine art and architecture, a fact which cause it to attract visitors in a constant basis. Besides the building itself, this monastery is also very attractive due to its environment since it is surrounded by a beautiful forest.

The forest of Dafni covers an extensive area of about 18 km2 and is another main attraction in this suburb. The municipality of Daphni, located next to this area, only covers about 1 km2 and is not only the smallest of its kind in Athens, but one of the smallest n the entire country and region as well.

The municipality of Dafni is located on a hill and contains some residences as well as a few facilities. The main street in this spot is called Boumpoulines Avenue, and walking by it and visiting this area can offer several picturesque and interesting views. As it can be noticed, Dafni and its different spots offer a variety of interesting places to meet and things to observe.