It is the old town of Athens spreads to the north and northeast of the Acropolis. The area has been inhabited since ancient times. In the 16th c. Albanian soldiers who served as guards of the Ottoman authorities settled down in the area and called it “pliakou” which means old in their language. During the War of Independence Plaka was abandoned and most of the houses were destroyed. However, soon it began to revive. New houses were built, some in the old Ottoman style others in the neoclassical one. It gradually lost its residential character and turned into a tourist haunt, but always keeping its traditional aspect. Today it is the most attractive part of the city with narrow streets, small squares, neoclassical buildings, antique shops, elegant cafes, tavernas and souvenir stores, frequented by both tourists and locals. Within the boundaries of Plaka are located some of the major archaeological sites of the city, such as the Ancient Agora, the Roman Forum and the Library of Hadrian, and also the most important byzantine churches of the city.