Recent revelations by Manos N. Chatzidakis, the biographer of the leader of Greece’s military dictatorship Georgios Papadopoulos, challenge the long-held belief that the site of the Villa Papadopoulos atop Mount Parnitha served as a private villa. Chatzidakis asserts that the villa, located 30 km northwest of Athens, was actually intended to serve as a shelter for the country’s political and military leadership. An on-site inspection by YouTube content creating team ‘Up Stories’ revealed a mysterious network of interconnected underground facilities.
Until now, the well-known residence was believed to have been a third private residence belonging to Papadopoulos. However, Chatzidakis argues that the location was ideal for an fallout shelter: in the event of a nuclear war, he writes, a threat that loomed over the Cold War era, Parnitha’s inclined terrain would mitigate the impact of the initial shockwave.
Papadopoulos served as the country’s Prime Minister 1967-1973 after leading a coup d’etat in 1967. According to the most common version of the story, Papadopoulos built a two-story 400 sq.m. villa in the area at the enormous cost of 100 million drachmas (equivalent to 293,470.29 Euros).
The dictator’s impregnable stronghold enjoyed a military guard and was believed to include underground passages, an invisible helipad, and a pinpoint-accurate radar system. The building was looted following the fall of the junta.
The location is currently accessible to pedestrians and cyclists alone, who have to navigate a particularly demanding uphill route to reach it.