National Historical Museum - Athens, Greece
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Marine Biologist
N 37° 58.683 E 023° 43.983
34S E 740048 N 4206904
Quick Description: The Old Parliament building in Athens, Greece, now houses the country's National Historical Museum.
Location: Greece
Date Posted: 9/28/2008 12:41:17 PM
Waymark Code: WM4TJ0
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member MikeGolfJ3
Views: 25

Long Description:
From Wikipedia:


The site was originally occupied by the house of an Athenian magnate, Kontostavlos. After Athens became the capital of Greece in 1833, King Otto selected it as temporary residence, pending the construction of the Royal Palace (which houses Parliament today). In 1835, a large dance and banquet hall was added to the house, and after the "September 3rd" Uprising, which forced King Otto to grant a constitution, the National Assembly convened here. In October 1854, however, the house burned down in a fire. Construction of a new building then began in August 1858, with the foundation laid by Queen Amalia, on plans by French architect François Boulanger. Construction was halted the next year due to lack of funds, and not restarted until after Otto's overthrow in 1863; the plans were then modified by the Greek architect Panagiotis Kalkos, and construction was complete by 1871. In the interim, Parliament had been housed in a brick building on the back of the square, hastily erected in 1863, which became colloquially known as "the Shanty".

The Hellenic Parliament would remain in the building from 1875 until its move to its current location in the Old Palace in 1932. As such, it witnessed some of the most turbulent and important events in modern Greek history, including the assassination of Prime Minister Theodoros Deligiannis on the Parliament steps on 13 June 1905, and the declaration of the Republic on 25 March 1924. After the parliament was moved, the building housed the Ministry of Justice. In 1961 the building underwent extensive restoration and became the seat of the National History Museum, administered by the Historical and Ethnological Society of Greece.

In front of the building stands a large equestrian statue of General Theodoros Kolokotronis, cast in bronze. It was sculpted by Lazaros Sochos in Paris in 1900, and erected in its current place in 1904. Its pedestal features bronze reliefs of the Battle of Dervenakia, and of a session of the Peloponnesian Senate during the Greek Revolution. The statue faces Stadiou Street; Kolokotronis turns his head towards the Parliament House and his hand is pointing the opposite way where, during the 19th century, the Royal Mews were located. According to a popular joke, the hero of the Revolution was showing parliamentarians that, because of their subservience to the King, the stables were their rightful place.

The National Historical Museum

The museum houses the collection of the Historical and Ethnological Society of Greece (IEEE), founded in 1882. It is the oldest collection of its kind in Greece, and prior to its transfer in the Old Parliament, was housed in the main building of the National Technical University.

The collection contains historical items concerning the period from the fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans in 1453 to the Second World War, focusing especially in the period of the Greek Revolution and the subsequent establishment of the modern Greek state. Among the items displayed are weapons, personal belongings and memorabilia from historical personalities, historical paintings by Greek and foreign artists, manuscripts, as well as a large collection of traditional costumes from the various regions of Greece. The collection is displayed in the corridors and rooms of the building, while the great central hall of the National Assembly is used for conferences.

Cultural history

Street Address:
13 Stadiou Street Athens 105 61 Greece

Gift Shop: yes

Hours of Operation:
Tuesday-Sunday: 9am-2pm

Museum Size: Medium

Relevant Web Site: [Web Link]

Food Court: Not Listed

Cost: Not Listed

Visit Instructions:
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