This extraordinary photo of a group of people relaxing around a table on the roof terrace of the German Archaeological Institute (DAI) building in Athens was recently released by the Institute.
The DAI says the photo was most likely taken in 1895, and the scaffolding around St. Nicholas Church in Neapoli at the left gives a sure indication of that date.
Unfortunately, the names of the gentlemen in the photograph were not recorded.
The building has served as a meeting place for international scholars and researchers visiting Athens ever since the DAI moved into the premises – the design of which was initiated by the great archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann – in 1888.
After a long day of work at their archeological digs, colleagues would gather on the roof terrace high above the city to unwind in affable company, as they are pictured doing here.
Sometimes the men would play chess and other board games on the tables of the terrace.
In those days, there were still grand, unobstructed views of the Lykabettos, the highest hill in the city of Athens (seen in the background).
The photo comes from the extensive photographic collections of the DAI Athens which go back as far as 1890.