A neoclassical house on Ermou Street. In the early 20th century Athens had developed into a beautiful city that was being compared to Paris. In 1923, the Great Powers, in order to stop the fighting between Greeks and Turks, ordered all Christians in Turkey to go to Greece, and all Muslims in Greece to go to Turkey. Athens’ population tripled almost overnight and the city, in order to provide shelter for the refugees, allowed/encouraged the neoclassical mansions to be replaced by the small, anonymous apartment blocks that dominate it today. This old timer escaped the destruction of 1923 but has fallen into terrible shape; the wooden “girdle” is to protect pedestrians from falling stone in the event of an earthquake.