Landmark Athens mosque due to be finished this April

The construction of Athens’ first official mosque in centuries is expected to be completed by the end of April, according to Greek daily Kathimerini.

The mosque in the Greek capital will be located at a former naval base in the downtown neighborhood of Votanikos, Kathimerini reported last Thursday.

Parliament last August passed a bill greenlighting the mosque – the first since the 19th century – but an occupation of the premises by self-proclaimed Greek “patriots” stalled its construction.

As the occupiers told Anadolu Agency at the time, they opposed the construction of a mosque in a Greek Orthodox country, favoring instead a shelter for Greek homeless people at the site.

Construction restarted in early November after police interceded to end the occupation.

The mosque will be low-rise and will not include a minaret. It will be able to accommodate up to 350 worshippers as well as a parking lot and recreation area over its two-block-wide site.

According to the General Accounting Office, building the mosque will cost almost €1 million euros and the Greek state will cover all of the expenses.

Dozens of unofficial mosques are located in the Greek capital, but the one in Votanikos will be the first with a license issued by the Greek state since the 19th century.