Opened in 1938, the main international airport serving millions of Greeks and tourists alike operated until 2001 when the new Eleftherios Venizelos airport opened farther outside the Athenian city center in Spata.
Nazi German soldiers had taken over the airport after conquering Greece in 1941 — just three years after its opening — and used it as a Luftwaffe base during their four-year occupation.
After liberation from the Nazis, the Greek government signed an agreement with the United States Army Air Forces, who used it as a base from Oct. 1945 until 1991.
Throughout this time, the airport served as the home base of Greece’s national carrier, Olympic Airlines, as well as dozens of other international carriers who brought millions of tourists to Greece during its six-decade run.
Today the airport remains a creepy, abandoned facility in which time appears to stand still and all signs of human life vanished, as signs still carry flight departure information and blank boarding cards surround check-in desks. Airplanes even lay abandoned on the tarmac.
Some of the old buildings are being used as refugee housing.
Photos by Milos Bicanski
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