Monday, 21 April 2008

Minoos St

This is a typical street sign in Greece; always a little blue plaque, with the name of the street (ODOS) written in Greek and English. Below the English transliteration is an explanation in Greek of the origins of the name. In this case, the street of Minos, as the sign would be translated (the double 'oo' is not a mistake: it's the way the Greek language signifies theEnglish word 'of') is named after a 'mythical king of Crete'. He's the one we mean when we talk about the Minoan civilization.

These days, to most locals of Hania, Minoos St, found amidst the lower working class Splantzia and Koum Kapi suburbs, with its many maze-like narrow side-streets, signifies the area where the red lights district is located in Hania - approximately 15 houses deal in this sort of business according to my husband (how should he know, you ask me? - he's a taxi driver). And even if you don't speak or read Greek, the houses which deal in the 'red lights' business are still easy to find - just look for the red lights on top of the doors of the houses in the narrow alleys behind Minoos St.


  1. :) very interesting..specially to learn that an explanation is provided for the origin of street names.

  2. This is a magic post. I am always interested in writing, alphabets and explanations. Your post is good on all counts.

    I found the Red Light District interesting. I remember about 70 years ago my sister found or got a red light bulb and screwed it in her ceiling light (the only light in her bedroom) and turned it on that night. My mom heard about the red light from some neighbors and raised the roof in shouting and probably cussing and the red light bulb was replaced the next day.

    My sister had no idea what the significance of the red light was.