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The Airport Was Abandoned After The Olympic Games

Viktoriia Makeenko
Rotting away
Rotting away

This abandoned airport is located four miles south of Athens, Greece. It was named after Elliniko, a suburb of Athens, and was that city’s international airport. It was built at a time when the area was sparsely populated.

Construction was completed in 1938, just before the Second World War. However, shortly after the airport’s opening, the Third Reich invaded Greece. After 1941, the airport served as a Luftwaffe airbase during the occupation.

In 1944, Greece was liberated, and the United States expressed a desire to use the airport for flights between Italy and the Middle East.

Author: Jacob Kolar | Instagram @jakob.kolar | jakobkolar.com

Author: Jacob Kolar | Instagram @jakob.kolar | jakobkolar.com

In 1945, the Greek authorities had to sign an agreement with the United States Air Force. The agreement was that Greece allowed the United States to use the airport from October 1, 1945. In 1988, Greece refused to renew this agreement. The U.S. Air Force conducted its last operation at the airport in 1991.

From October 1, 1945, to 1969, the airport became the Hellinikon Air Base. A command and control center as well as a passenger and cargo terminal were opened at the airport.

In 1958, the airport changed its name to Athens International Airport when its purpose was changed to civil aviation.

The airport served up to 12 million passengers a year. In 2001, the new Eleftherios Venizelos airport (also known as Athens International Airport) was built for the 2004 Olympic Games. It was located between the towns of Spata, Markopoulo, Koropi, and Loutsa, not far from the capital.

After this new airport opened, the Ellinikon International Airport was closed.

Author: Jacob Kolar | Instagram @jakob.kolar | jakobkolar.com

Author: Jacob Kolar | Instagram @jakob.kolar | jakobkolar.com

Following the closure, it was decided to convert the airport into a complex for Olympic events. The northwestern part of the former airport was changed to offer venues for baseball, field hockey, and softball, among other sports. One of the hangars was repurposed to become an Olympic fencing venue.

In 2005, a competition was held in Greece, seeking a project to redesign the airport and turn it into an urban park. The winning team of architects consisted of David Serero, Elena Fernandez, and Philippe Koyne.

During 2006 and 2007, the project continued to develop with cooperation between the architects and the planning organizations of Athens. There were two development phases designed to bring the park to completion.

Author: Jacob Kolar | Instagram @jakob.kolar | jakobkolar.com

Author: Jacob Kolar | Instagram @jakob.kolar | jakobkolar.com

However, a problem arose a few years later when the Greek authorities stated their desire to use this site for other, commercial purposes. During the next few years, legal proceedings were conducted. Many people thought that a huge park could be a problem for the Greek economy.

In 2012, Greece decided to put this abandoned territory to better use. However, local residents were against the construction of a complex with an entertainment infrastructure; they wanted a regular park.

Author: Jacob Kolar | Instagram @jakob.kolar | jakobkolar.com

Author: Jacob Kolar | Instagram @jakob.kolar | jakobkolar.com

In 2012, Greek consortium Lamda Development signed an agreement with the Greek government to build such a park. The project was named Ellinikon Metropolitan Park. It is hoped that this project will be realized within ten years.

The project also includes the construction of residential premises and a shopping center. There will be various tourist sites as well since the primary income of the country comes from tourism.

Therefore, it is hoped that the construction of the park will contribute to the overall economy of Greece in the future. Please visit Jacob’s website for more amazing abandoned places jakobkolar.com

Author: Jacob Kolar | Instagram @jakob.kolar | jakobkolar.com

Author: Jacob Kolar | Instagram @jakob.kolar | jakobkolar.com

Author: Jacob Kolar | Instagram @jakob.kolar | jakobkolar.com

Author: Jacob Kolar | Instagram @jakob.kolar | jakobkolar.com

Author: Jacob Kolar | Instagram @jakob.kolar | jakobkolar.com

Author: Jacob Kolar | Instagram @jakob.kolar | jakobkolar.com

Author: Jacob Kolar | Instagram @jakob.kolar | jakobkolar.com

Author: Jacob Kolar | Instagram @jakob.kolar | jakobkolar.com

Author: Jacob Kolar | Instagram @jakob.kolar | jakobkolar.com

Author: Jacob Kolar | Instagram @jakob.kolar | jakobkolar.com

Author: Jacob Kolar | Instagram @jakob.kolar | jakobkolar.com

Author: Jacob Kolar | Instagram @jakob.kolar | jakobkolar.com

Author: Jacob Kolar | Instagram @jakob.kolar | jakobkolar.com

Author: Jacob Kolar | Instagram @jakob.kolar | jakobkolar.com

Author: Jacob Kolar | Instagram @jakob.kolar | jakobkolar.com

Author: Jacob Kolar | Instagram @jakob.kolar | jakobkolar.com

Author: Jacob Kolar | Instagram @jakob.kolar | jakobkolar.com

Author: Jacob Kolar | Instagram @jakob.kolar | jakobkolar.com

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Author: Jacob Kolar | Instagram @jakob.kolar | jakobkolar.com

Author: Jacob Kolar | Instagram @jakob.kolar | jakobkolar.com