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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Here goes a guide on some famous classic buildings around the city of Athens.

As you know the city is rich in ancient architecture but for the lovers of medieval, modern (15th-18th century) and 19th century buildings this city is a heaven so here you have the description of some of these structures.

Old Palace, currently the Parliament Building ca 1836-1847

Friedrich von Gärtner (1792-1847)

Syntagma Square

The building that currently houses the Parliament of the Hellenes was initially erected as the palace of Otho, the first king of Greece. It is a work by Friedrich von Gärtner, architect of Ludwig I of Bavaria, who also designed the royal palace of Munich and the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, among others. The construction works on the old palace began in 1836 and were completed in 1847.

Scene from the Uprising of 3 September 1843.

Athens Academy of Sciences ca 1859

Theophilus von Hansen (1813-1891)

28 Panepistimiou St

The Academy of Athens building belongs among the outstanding monuments of Athenian neoclassicism, but also to the basic models of the academic tradition of public buildings in modern Greece. It was erected at the expense of Simon Sinas on the basis of designs by Theophilus von Hansen; construction was supervised by Ernst Ziller.
On plan the building is symmetrically organised and consists of three wings interconnected by two smaller lateral sections. The main wing houses the assembly chamber.

University of Athens (National Capodistrian University) ca 1839-1864

Hans Christian Hansen (1803-1873)

30 Panepistimiou St

The University of Athens (National Capodistrian University), the first of the "Athenian Trilogy", is one of the top-ranking works of neohellenic classicism, but also one of the main models for the academic tradition of public buildings in Athens. Construction was begun in 1839 using the proceeds of a fund-raising campaign from Greeks at home and abroad, and was not completed until 1864 owing to inadequate funds.

National Library 1885

Theophilus von Hansen (1913-1891)
Associate architect
Ernst Ziller (1837-1923)

32 Panepistimiou St

The National Library is the third building of the "Athenian Trilogy", the major and highly influential neoclassical group in the centre of the Greek capital.
The general plan of the Trilogy on Panepistimiou St, that was designed by Hansen on commission from King Otho in 1859 during Hansen’s residence in Athens, provided for a monumental building to the left of the University that would function as a counterweight to the Academy to its right.
The National Library was funded by the Vallianos brothers. On this building, Hansen used Ziller’s basic ideas with regard to the main façade, which was a two-storey building with a large exterior staircase. The infrastructure was of limestone and upper floor of Pentelic marble. Owing however to the small size of the lot and its steep slope, the tripartite articulation of the ground plan was condensed and the building placed on a foundation that constituted its basement. Thus the height of the two marble staircases leading up to the elevated porch increased dramatically, and the stairs with their curved shape, ornate balustrade and monumental lamps lend the building an eclecticist character.

Arsakeio Girls’ School (Today houses the Council of State) ca 1846

Lysandros Kaftantzoglou (1811-1885)

Panepistimiou & Pesmazoglou Sts

The Arsakeio Girls’ School is a landmark building in the public architecture of Athens. Designed by Lysandros Kaftantzoglou, humanist architect and professor of the School of Arts, it is an exemplary expression of Hellenized classicism.
The building was funded by Apostolos Arsakis to house the girls’ school of the Educational Society, which was established in 1836. The lot on which it was built, at the corner of Panepistimiou and Pesmazoglou streets was purchased through a nationwide fund-raising campaign. The original plans for the building were drawn up by architect Stamatios Kleanthis (1802-1862). But the design by Lysandros Kaftantzoglou was preferred, as it made provision for a two-storey building with a façade inscribed in a square, two interior courtyards and a church.

National Technical University of Athens ca 1861

Lysandros Kaftantzoglou

42 Patission St

The National Technical University of Athens, outstanding creation by the humanist architect Lysandros Kaftantzoglou, is one of the archetypes of the Athens architectural traditions.
It was built with donations by Michail and Eleni Tossizza, Nikolaos Stournaris and Georgios Averoff and was called Metsovio owing to the fact that its founders came from the town of Metsovo.
It was the city’s second large-scale building on a spacious lot after the so-called Athens Trilogy. The final solution worked out by Kaftantzoglou for the NTUA complex included a main building and two T-shaped buildings on Patission Street at the intersections with Tossizza and Stournari Streets; at the same time provision was made for another two buildings on Bouboulinas St, which were not finally built.

Zappeion Exhibition Hall ca 1874

Theophilus von Hansen
François-Louis-Florimond Boulanger (1807-1875), initial designs

The Zappeion Exhibition Hall, one of the outstanding examples of late Athenian classicism, is one of the archetypes of Greek public architecture.
The purpose of the building, which was funded by Evangelis and Constantinos Zappas, Greeks from Norhtern Epirus, was to house an exhibition hall in conjunction with the first modern Olympic Games held in Athens.
It was constructed in the region of the Ilissos River between the Temple of Olympian Zeus and the National Gardens on the site created by the committee of Olympians and with trees planted under the supervision of the French architect D. Matton.
The original plans were by French architect F.-L.-F. Boulanger. They were however amended by the famous Danish architect Theophilus von Hansen, who also designed the Academy of Sciences and the National Library as well as a number of significant buildings in Vienna.

The First University of Athens (Today the University of Athens Museum) ca mid 17th century

5 Tholou St, Rizokastro

The precise date of its construction is unknown, but it appears on the drawing of J. Gurrey who visited Athens in 1674. The architects Stamatios Kleanthis and Eduard Schaubert bought it in 1831 and remodelled it for use as their home.
Since it was one of the largest buildings in Athens at the time, it was selected to house the first university of Athens (of the contemporary era) from 1837 to 1841.

After many changes of use, the building once again became the property of the university.

A typical feature of the building’s simple façade is the porch with pilasters on the first floor. On the north side there is a closed balcony on the upper floor; the staircase and large semi-open-air balcony ("hayati") look onto the interior courtyard enclosed by a high wall.
There is a characteristic gradual diminution of the building volume on the two last floors so as to create open balconies. The total building is picturesque, despite the effort to make it conform to classicist models.

Theatre of Piraeus ca 1882-1895

Ioannis Lazarimos (1849-1913)

Korai Square in Piraeus district

a work by Ioannis Lazarimos, distinguished architect and NTUA professor, is one of the few Greek theatres of the 19th century to have survived up to the present day. The decision to build it on a lot on the central Korai Square was made in 1883. Construction began on the building in 1884 and ended in 1895. In order to cover most of the theatre’s operating and maintenance expenses, 25 rented shops were created in its base.

The Municipal Theatre, 34.50 m. wide and 47 m. long, was built in an absolutely free system. The slight slope of the ground and its central position in front of the spacious Korai Square gave Lazarimos an opportunity to create a magnificent, imposing building. With its harmonious proportions and organic integration into a monumental urban synthesis, this work belongs to the type of the "magnificent French theatre". The synthesis of the volumes was particularly successful. Only the rectangular elevation of the flat roof protruded above the pure, prismatic volume of the building that houses the main hall and the stage, and the colonnaded porch.
The hall, with 1400-1500 seats, has a horseshoe-shaped stalls area with 500 seats that were later reduced to 340. The remaining seats are divided among 23 boxes in the first two rows with low partitions, the balcony and the gallery.

A significant area of the Piraeus theatre was the magnificent smoking room, 18 x 18 m., which evolved into a space for promoting all local intellectual and artistic movements. Special attention was devoted to ensuring the possibility of rapid and safe evacuation of the theatre, the innovative system of ventilation and heating of the main hall, and its protection against fire.
The exterior of the Municipal Theatre, in the classicist style, is organised rationally and in a uniform way, with the exception of the surfaces of the monumental section in front.

Benaki Museum ca mid-19th century

Anastasios Metaxas (1862-1937),
Em. Vourekas (1905-1992)
Alexandros Kalligas (1932)
Stefanos Kalligas

The Benaki Museum is housed in a neoclassical mansion in the historic centre of Athens opposite the National Gardens.
The Museum is a composite architectural group that resulted from successive additions. Its core was the 19th century, discreetly-sized Harokopos residence.

Mansion of Othon Stathatos ca 1887

Ernst Ziller

31 Vas Sofias & Irodotou Sts

This eclecticist mansion is part of Ziller’s significant architectural legacy. It was built by Othon Stathatos, who lived in it up to 1938. It was then used for years as an embassy and today constitutes the new wing of the Museum of Cycladic Art.

On plan, it consists of two wings that come together in an acute angle, creating at the point of contact interesting polygonal and curved areas that end in a glass greenhouse at the back of the house. The raised ground floor housed the reception areas, and on the second floor were the bedrooms, with the service areas in the basement.

The façades are notable for their harmonious proportions and Italian Renaissance style, adapted to the eclecticist spirit of the age. They are divided into the base with stone masonry on the semi-basement, the trunk which is the raised ground floor and upper floor, and the crown of the cornice and parapet. The openings on the façades have small marble balconies that are adorned by arches on the ground floor and pediments on the upper one.

New Palace Today the Presidential Mansion ca 1890-97

Ernst Ziller

Irodou Attikou & Vas. Georgiou Sts

The eclecticist New Palace is one of the most magnificent examples of the architectural heritage left by Ernst Ziller. Its history began right after the birth of Crown Prince Constantine in 1868, when the Government decided to grant the Heir to the Throne a private residence upon his majority. To this end, a 3.7-hectare lot was ceded that included the present Presidential Mansion as well as part of the National Gardens. In 1888, at the period of Constantine’s engagement to Princess Sophia of Prussia, the design for the Crown Prince’s palace was assigned to the famous Saxon architect Ernst Ziller. It was completed in 1890. Construction works on the initial building began in 1891 and were finished in 1897. Ziller’s designs for the building were an application of the simplified style of the unexecuted design of Theophilus von Hansen for a summer Palace.

It was laid out in the nature of a private mansion.

Benakeio Building, Athens College ca 1927 (East wing) after World War II (west wing)

Konstantinos Sgoutas (1897-1983),
Konstantinos Kyriakidis (1881-1942),
Georgios Soulis

Paleo Psychiko, Athens

The Benakeio Building of the Athens College was the first modern and fully equipped private education building in the Attica basin. Constructed in the middle-class garden neighborhood of Paleo Psychiko, it was the fruit of the architects’ systematic study assisted by specialist professionals.

The building has a ground floor, two upper floors and a loft on top of the roof.

The building has a ground floor, two upper floors and a loft on top of the roof.

On the ground floor are accommodated a total of eight classrooms, teachers’ offices, special offices and laboratories, and various public areas. The second floor has twenty-seven classrooms, offices, the Horemi theatre, a post office and public areas. The fine arts studios, handicraft and foreign language classrooms, a hall for classical dance, offices and various auxiliary areas are in the loft.

The façades, initially treated in the spirit of academic eclecticism, were simplified later at the request of the Board of Directors. The façades are sheeted with hewn rock at their base, which is the ground floor of the building, with stone in the rustico style. The dominant stylist feature is the Doric-style entrance porch with its grand staircase.

National (formerly Royal) Theatre ca 1891

Ernst Ziller

Aghiou Konstantinou and Koumoundourou Sts

The Royal Theatre which was inaugurated on 24 November 1901, was built on the initiative of George I with funding from the London-based Greeks Stephanos Rallis, Korgialenios and Evgenidis.
The small, out-of-the-way lot with its steep slope had an adverse effect on the building and its future. Among the repercussions of its inadequate dimensions was the 1000-seat hall (400 stalls, two balconies and four official boxes), which is too small for a prestige repertory theatre, as well as the cramped facilities for the public. The monumental facade is not well served by having to be placed right against the sidewalk.
The synthesis of the volumes gives organic expression to the various functions of the theatre (stage, hall, public areas etc.) in accordance with the German tradition. This also holds for the organisation of the floor plans. In exploiting the small lot, priority was given to the stage, and then to the audience seating. The main stage was 18 m. wide and 12.50 deep, which was why it was enlarged and modernised several times.

In creating the seating area for the audience, Ziller used his academic eclecticism which was closer to baroque than was the case in his older theatres. The facades of the theatre were designed along similar lines. They also had a plasticity disproportionate to the scale of the building, a fact that becomes particularly visible in the fragmented façade of the Royal Theatre both in Ziller’s initial design and in the extension of 1961-63 in a similar style, which was based on designs by architect Vassilios Douras.
The facades are sub-divided into three zones in a similar style, with the exception of the monumental section of the main entrance. The 2-m. high base is in rusticated plastered masonry with unadorned windows; while the trunk has windows and pediments, Ionic pillars and a parapet with turrets. The building is crowned with a cornice and parapet.
The façade is dominated by the projecting central section with six Corinthian columns that stand on an equal number of piers in the base and support the interrupted entablature of the roof, in accordance with the Roman model of Hadrian’s library.
The most significant interior changes were effected in 1930-32 and in 1970. The former works concerned the interior renovation of the building, which was then changed from Royal to National, and its stage was improved. The renovation was by architect Anastasios Metaxas in the spirit of modern classicism with Art Deco features and the modernisation of the stage area was based on a design by set designer Panos Aravantinos and architect Constantinos Doxiadis.
Thirty years later, a rehearsal area in the 1960-63 wing was converted imaginatively by architect Manos Perrakis into a flexible Nea Skini ("New Stage") for the National Theatre, which could be transformed into a theatre in the round or an Elizabethan stage, or indeed any other shape through movable sets and the use of independently positionable seats.

V. Melas Mansion Today the Cultural and Administrative Centre of the National Bank of Greece ca 1884

Ernst Ziller

City Hall (Kotzia) Square, Aiolou-Sofokleous-Streit

The eclecticist mansion of Vassilios Melas, the largest Athenian residence of its time, is one of the most significant works in the architectural heritage left by Ernst Ziller. The building’s owner, V. G. Melas called it the "Great House" and bequeathed its revenues to fund the Melas Bequests Committee that built schools all over Greece.

Aghios Konstantinos Church ca 1871

Lysandros Kaftantzoglou

Aghiou Konstantinou St

The church of Aghios Konstantinos (St Constantine) is a manifesto work by the great Greek architect Lysandros Kaftantzoglou. It expresses his views about Europeanising Orthodox church construction in Athens, despite the fact that these views did not influence its evolution.

The church was built on the initiative of the Municipality of Athens in order to pay homage to the birth of the Crown Prince Constantine. It was an innovative solution, fertilely influenced by early Christian, Italian and French models. When building Aghios Konstantinos, Kaftantzoglou selected a special type of three-aisled basilica with transept and dome, which rests on pendentives in accordance with the Byzantine church construction. The architect introduced innovations mainly in terms of the typology and style. Rejecting the usual neo-Byzantine order of Orthodox churches, he concluded with scholarly eclecticism of a strongly classicising nature.
The most impressive feature of Aghios Konstantinos is its façade, shaped with features derived from neoclassical and Renaissance orders. It has a three-part layout and monumental entrance in the form of a porch with piers, Corinthian semi-columns and a pediment.

University of Athens Student Union building ca 1926

Alexandros Nikoloudis (1874-1944)

Akadimias and Ippokratous streets

Built opposite the National Library, the imposing Students’ Union building of the University of Athens is one of Athens’ most representative applications of French academic eclecticism. It is a work by the distinguished architect and NTUA professor Alexandros Nikoloudis, who was a graduate of the École des Beaux Arts in Paris.
This multi-storeyed building has a double-height ground floor and four floors above it. The elevations, the layout of the interior and the décor were designed in the eclecticist spirit of the Beaux Arts.

Athens Central Municipal Market ca 1878-80

Ioannis Koumelis

Athinas, Armodiou, Filopimenos and Aristogitonos Sts

The Athens Central Municipal Market which covers the city block between Athinas, Armodiou, Filopimenos and Aristogitonos Streets, is one of the few public buildings that has not changed usage since the day it was built. Thus, the eclecticist structure built in 1880 in the heart of Athens is a significant monument in terms of the architectural, financial and social history of the Greek capital.
The first plans for the Market were drawn up in 1878 by a municipal engineer or architect, whose name has not been recorded in the archives. In 1880, radical changes were made to the initial plan by architect Ioannis Koumelis, professor at the National Technical University of Athens.
The Market sustained changes due to daily use over a long period of time. The most significant of these was the loss of the glass dome, which broke early in the 20th century.

Army Share Fund Building ca 1927

Leonidas Bonis (1896-1963)
Vassilios Kassandras (1904-1973)

Panepistimiou, Stadiou, Voukourestiou and Amerikis Sts

The Army Share Fund building (ASF), a work by the distinguished architects Leonidas Bonis and Vassilios Kassandras, both graduates of the Ecole des Beaux Arts, is one of the landmarks of interwar Athenian architecture. It is also one of the few buildings in the heart of the Greek capital to cover an entire city block.
The final design and supervision of the building was assigned to the two architects after they had won first prize in an open nationwide competition in 1926-27 that was adjudicated abroad. The final solution designed by Bonis and Kassandras was a creative adaptation of innovative French models to the conditions of interwar Athens.

Acropole Palace Hotel ca 1925

Sotirios Mayiassis

Patission, Marnis and Averoff Sts

The Acropole Palace Hotel is one of the most characteristic Athenian buildings, on which the compositional rules of the academic Ecole des Beaux Arts were applied together with features of the then innovative Art Déco and the older Art Nouveau. The design of the hotel was initially assigned to architect Alexandros Nikoloudis, NTUA professor, but was eventually carried out by architect Sotirios Mayiassis in 1925, when construction began.

Mansion of the Duchess of Placentia, today the Byzantine Museum ca 1848

Stamatios Kleanthis (1802-1862)

Vas. Sofias Ave

The core of the Byzantine Museum was the Villa Ilissia, an outstanding historicist building in mid-19th century Athens. It was constructed in 1848 near the banks of the then open Ilissus River, as the winter residence of the philhellene French woman Sophie de Marbois-Lebrun, known as the Duchess of Placentia. The design of this mansion is attributed to architect Stamatios Kleanthis (according to others, to his Danish colleague Christian Hansen). After the duchess died in 1854, this building devolved to the Greek State. For many years it accommodated the Naval Academy and other military authorities.

Aghios Dionyssios Catholic Church ca 1853

Architect of the initial design
Leo von Klenze (1784-1864)
Amendment of design and supervision by architect
Lysandros Kaftantzoglou (1811-1885)

Panepistimiou and Omirou Sts

The Catholic church of St Dionysios the Areopagite is one of the most important monuments in the centre of Athens, near the 19th-century Athenian Trilogy, i.e. the Library, University and Academy.
Construction began on the church in 1853, on the basis of designs by the outstanding Bavarian architect Leo von Klenze that were amended by his distinguished Greek colleague Lysandros Kaftantzoglou. It was officially opened in 1865.
The church belongs to the type of the three-aisled basilica. Its position elevated above Panepistimiou Ave gives it authority. A broad marble stairway leads up to the church. Its west side is adorned with a marvellous porch designed by Kaftantzoglou in the neo-Renaissance style.

The Schliemann Mansion (Today the Numismatic Museum)
ca 1878

Ernst Ziller

Panepistimiou St

The Schliemann Mansion is one of the leading examples of Athenian historicism, and one of Ernst Ziller’s most important works. Ziller was the busiest architect in Athens between 1870 and the late 1920s. This building, called Iliou Melathron ("House of Troy") was built in 1878-79 by the famous German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann, discoverer of Troy, to be used as his residence.
The architectural composition is distinguished for its clarity in the organisation of the plans and elegance in treating the façades. The mansion is square on plan and is surrounded on three sides by a garden; on its north side is the main entrance. The reception area is on the upper ground floor, while the office, library and bedrooms are on the upper floor, and the auxiliary areas on the lower ground floor.
The elevations are in the neo-Renaissance style, adapted to the spirit of the Athenian classical tradition.

Livieratos Mansion ca 1908

Alexandros Nikoloudis

Patission & Ipirou Sts

The Livieratos mansion is a large urban detached home with a visible French influence. It was designed at the end of the first decade of the 20th century by the distinguished architect and NTUA professor Alexandros Nikoloudis, a graduate of the École des Beaux Arts of Paris. It has a basement, elevated ground floor and upper floor.

Ionian Bank ca 1925

Anastasios Metaxas

Panepistimiou and Pesmazoglou sts

The Ionian Bank of Greece building belongs among the most important works of Anastasios Metaxas, the distinguished architect of the first quarter of the 20th century, who had studied at the Technical University of Dresden.

The Anglican Church ca 1843

Architect Christian Hansen

Philellinon and Vassilissis Amalias streets

The Anglican Church is situated at the junction of Philellinon and Vassilissis Amalias streets and is dedicated to Saint Paul. It was designed by the Danish architect Christian Hansen in the Victorian neogothic style. The church was inaugurated in 1843 and since the first day of its operation it has been an important centre of the English-speaking community in the heart of Athens.

The Weiler Building ca 1834

Architect Wilhelm von Weiler

Makrygianni and Dionissiou Areopagitou Streets

The Weiler building is located at the junction of Makrygianni and Dionissiou Areopagitou Streets. It was built in 1834 by the Bavarian architect Wilhelm von Weiler, and was one of the first impressive public edifices of the new capital of the Greek State. Originally it was a military hospital and today it houses the Centre for Acropolis Studies.

Rangabas ca 11th century

This is one of the most noteworthy of the city's Byzantine monuments. Built in the 11th century, the church is related to the noble family of Michael I Rangabas (811-13).

Gorgoepekoos (St Eleutherios) ca late 12th century

Mitropoleos square

The Byzantine Church of Panagia Gorgoepekoos dates from the late 12th century. Built on the ruins of an ancient temple dedicated to Eileithyia, goddess of childbirth, the church makes much use of marble, with many ancient reliefs incorporated into its exterior surfaces.

The Athens Cathedral (Metropolis) ca 1842-1862 Mitropoleos square

The Athens Cathedral is dedicated to the Annunciation. Its construction was completed in 1862 after twenty years. The expenses for the construction of the cathedral were covered by Church property and through offers mostly by king Otto and the Sinas family. The successive stylistic changes during the construction of the church resulted in an ensemble that lacks a distinct architectural character.


Architect Panagiotis Kalkos

Athinas ave

The neoclassical City Hall was designed by Panagiotis Kalkos and completed in 1874. The original building was two-storeyed, the ground floor housing shops and the upper floor municipal businesses. In the early 20th century the building was renovated and the shops removed.

KAPNIKAREA ca mid 11th century

Ermou street

The Kapnikarea is one of the most noteworthy of Athens' Byzantine churches. It was built in the mid-11th century and is dedicated to the Presentation of the Virgin to the Temple.

Aghioi Theodoroi ca mid 11th century

Klafthmonos square

The Byzantine Church of Aghioi Theodoroi was built in the mid-11th century and is contemporary with the Kapnikarea. The exterior is of especial interest: it is decorated with pseudo-Kufic elements, denticulated bands and brick arches over the windows.


The Jedi Will Rise Again
13,103 Posts
Congratulations buddy!!! Excellent presentation and expect my additions here.

Ok, to begin with:

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Vasilissis Sophias Avenue:

This complex consists of two buildings. The older one which is the most important was built based on the designs by the famous German architect Ernst Ziller between 1872 and 1872, and was lated modified and used as the residence of the great benefactor Andreas Syggros. His wife, Ifigenia Syggros according to her will allowed the Greek state to assume ownership of this building with the purpose to be used as accomodation for public and state services in 1921.

Since then, the buildins is used as our Ministry of Foreign affairs.

In addition, a new 10-storey wing was added by Ioannis Vikelas, the architect of the Athens Tower in 1977, following the lines of the then popular international style.

Today, the complex offers an unusual view of a marriage between the old and the new in central Athens, opposite the buildings of the Hellenic Parliament.

All pics taken by me in 2002 or 2003...

-Full view of the complex

-The Old Wing

-The New Wing


The Jedi Will Rise Again
13,103 Posts
Stay tuned kouklitsa, there's more to come!!!

All of us love classical Athens, so, this will be fun...

1,298 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you guys and here goes more.

The old Parliament currently the National Historical Museum ca 1858-1871

Francois Boulanger
Panagis Kalkos

Stadiou Ave

In the beginning of the 19th century at the site of the Old House of Parliament stood Kontostaulos' Mansion. From 1834, the building functioned as temporary Royal settlement. In 1835, an octagonal hall, big enough to hold more than 200 people was added as a ball room. After the revolt of the 3rd September, this room housed the National Assemblies and was the hub of parliamentary life until 1935. There, on March 18, 1843 King Otho swore obedience to the constitution.

In October 1854, the Kontostaulos mansion burnt to ruins and in a short time began the construction of the new building. During the construction period, the Parliament sessions were housed in a building of the Polytechnical School of Athens. The design of the new building was assigned to the French architect Francois Boulanger. The first plan provided for two amphitheaters, one for the members of the Parliament and another for the Senate and their respective offices.

The erection of the new building began in August 1858. However, during the following year the work stopped due to the shortage of money. When they were able to resume work, in 1863, the needs had changed because of the abolishment of the Senate. Thus the Greek architect Panagis Kalkos was asked to modify the original design. The building was completed in 1871. On the 11th of August 1875, the building housed again the operations of the House of Parliament.

The Initial Designs of Boulanger

1890's Photo

Aghios Georgios Church ca 1780

Lycabettus Hill

Located in Lycabettus Hill at 300 meters. You can reach it either on foot or by the funicular. It is said that in ancient time the temple of the Akraios Zeus used to be here. During the Frankish occupation its place was taken by a small chapel of Prophetis Elias which, in turn, gave its place to Agios Georgios the Rider.

The bell was a gift from Queen Olga who took it under her patronage.

Sotira Lykodimou church ca 1031

Philellinon and Amalias Streets

It was built in 1031 as part of a Roman Catholic monastery that survived operated until 1701. Since 1852, it has been operating as a Russian Orthodox church.

Kaisariani monastery ca 1100

Mount Hymettos

Located in the Hymettos mount at over 1000 meters high, it is devoted to the Presentation of the Virgin Mary. It was built in AD 1100 above a Roman temple, which was in turn built above an ancient temple in the lonian order , dedicated to the goddesses Demeter and Aphrodite. In the katholikon you can still see the columns of the ancient temple. See the monks' cells, the bath, the kitchen and the chapel of Ayios Antonios.

Herakleidon Museum of Visual arts ca 1898

16, Herakleidon street
1898 building of Neoclassical style located in the area of Thisseon.

Swedish Institute at Athens ca 1914

Architect Filippos Oiconomou

Mitseon 9 st

The institute building was drawn by Filippos Oiconomou for the Issidorides family which originally came from Constantinople. The head of the family Heracles P. Issidorides was a wealthy businessman importing leather and other materials for the manufacture of shoes from England and America.

Stylistically the house belongs to the last phase of Athenian neo-classicism, which is normally dated from 1890 to 1925.

A neo-baroque trait in the building is for instance the rich decoration of its facade. The rounded corner as well as the originally monochrome grayish white paint enhanced the uniformity of the building masse. This is typical of the neo-baroque style as opposed to the neo-classicist way of underlining the bearing elements of a building through polychrome paint and through the three-partite division of the facades. Neo-renaissance traits are the rustication of the base of the building and the lunettes above the balcony doors on the first floor. They may have been inspired by italicizing arcades. It is generally agreed that the architect Oikonomou in this relatively small building plot managed to create a building, which despite its heavy and sometimes eclectic decoration gives an impression of harmony and balance.

The fact that the building was originally planned as a private house for a well-to-do family with four children can still be traced in its interior. The smallish rooms in the basement, which are used today as schoolroom and ironing room, were bedrooms for the three maids of the household. The basement kitchen was a food cellar whereas the wine cellar lay across the corridor, now the furnace room. The coal for the fireplaces was also kept in the basement as well as the Rolls Royce. On the ground floor the kitchen and the dining room were to the left of the hall and on the right hand side were three reception rooms. These now house the lecture hall and the Gustav Karlsson Byzantine Library. On the first floor were the bedrooms and a room where the children of the family were supposed to do their homework. Today’s guest rooms on the top floor are original but were used as wardrobes and washing rooms during the Issidorides era. At that time the maids working on the top floor may have caught a glimpse of Faliron and felt the mild breeze from the sea.

Hotel Grande Bretagne ca 1842

Syntagma square

The hotel was built in 1842 as a house for a man named Antonis Dimitriou, a wealthy Greek from Trieste, whose family originated on the island of Limnos.

In 1874 Stathis Lampsas, whose ancestors had come from Kalavrita who had been the King's cook at the palace next door, went into partnership with Savas Kendros, owner of the Grande Bretagne hotel on the corner of Karageorgi Servias and Stadiou, and with an 800,000 drachma loan bought and restored the Dimitriou mansion and named it the Grande Bretagne.

In 1888 after the death of Savas Kendros, Stathis Lampsas installed electricity in the hotel when Athens got it's first generator.

The hotel was also a center of intrigue, where alliances were made and broken, where spies and agents slept and governments formed and torn down. It's ballroom was the center of ceremonies, festivals and social gatherings.

Industrialists, ship owners, judges, diplomats, government officials and journalists gathered daily in it's reception rooms while in it's elegant apartments famous foreigners stayed and in some cases lived. The new wing on Panepistimiou was built in 1930 to accommodate the presidents and kings, symphonies and delegations which came to Athens.

During World War Two the Grande Bretagne was taken over by the General Staff and all the guests asked to leave. But when Athens fell to the Nazis April 28 1941 it became the headquarters of the third Reich and filled with hundreds of officers. For three years the Nazis lived in the hotel with regular visits by Goering and Himmler. Rommel and Hitler even stayed here on the eve of the Soviet invasion of 1941. During this period there was much famine, hardship and terror and Athens breathed a sigh of relief when the Germans left and the hotel became the headquarters of the British Expeditionary Force in the autumn of 1944.

But Peace was short-lived as civil war broke out between the Greek army and the communist resistance who controlled most of Athens with the exception of the Grande Bretagne. The hotel became the scene of conferences between the government of George Papandreau and the British delegations headed by Harold Macmillan and later by Winston Churchill and Anthony Eden. The Grande Bretagne was a combination fortress and refugee camp with machine-guns set up in the entrance, windows and hallways, while the rooms were given to the fifteen hundred homeless people who were crammed into the hotel.

In 1956 after the end of the civil war, four more stories were added to the hotel. In the years to follow the Grande Bretagne witnessed numerous demonstrations, election rallies, military parades and military coups. When the Junta of April 1967 collapsed in July 1974 it was at the Grande Bretagne where Constantine Karamanlis lived for four months while he formed the new government in his 5th floor suite and the same year Arch Bishop Makarios addresses the Greek people from a second floor balcony on his way back to Cyprus after his near assassination and the Turkish invasion and occupation of the island.

Since being converted from the most luxurious mansion in Athens into one of the most respected and elegant hotels in the world the Grande Bretagne has had among it's guests over 40 kings, queens and heads of state.

Listed in Conde Naste Traveler's 100 Best Hotels of the World, the Grande Bretagne is not just a luxurious hotel in central Athens. It is an historic landmark that has hosted the world's most well-known dignitaries and has been the scene of some of the most remarkable moments in Greece's history.


1,717 Posts

Toronto and Athens
5,538 Posts
Incredible pics neorion! I love the "before" and "after" pictures because it gives a true perspective of the work that is being done building by building in Athens!


1,717 Posts
Thanx leafs. Credit goes to the Athens Renewal website. Here is the first part of Athens little gems. compilation. All classic stuff is to go in this thread now apparently.

btw how's the uber-cool Danforth? Is the Hellenic Centre completed? Let us know in the diaspora thread if you like. :cheers:

The Jedi Will Rise Again
13,103 Posts
Αμάν πιά λυσσάξατε να βάζετε φωτογραφίες. δε σας προλαβαίνω :rant:

Anyway, guys you ARE THE BEST. GO ON!!! :banana: Whatta collection!!!

1,717 Posts
Athens Observatory

Athens Observatory on the hill of the Nymphs
1842 - 46 T. Hansen

Here is a distant pic. Does anyone have good pics of this neoclassical beauty?


The Jedi Will Rise Again
13,103 Posts
Zoom in view from the same angle, from the Acropolis hill, taken by me, summer 2004 :)

Whatta view!!!

1,717 Posts
Wow, excellent. Looks well renovated. Interesting district, that part of Athens.

1,115 Posts
Guys, I have plenty of pictures to share. All are saved onto my computer so it will take me some time to upload and post, but when I find the time I will do it.

I am kind of a neoclassical style nut. :D

1,717 Posts
New Classicism

Interamerican building on Syngrou - New classicism in Athens by Demetri Porphyrios.

Interamerican Headquaters, Athens Greece 2000 - 2002

'Classicism is not a style ,but a traditiion that has evolved from and co-existed with the vernacular. It is a living tradition open to adaptation and interpretation, and responsive to region, climate, nature and culture.' Demetri Porphyrios

About Demetri Porphyrios

One of the world's leading architects and theorists, Dr. Demetri Porphyrios is the principal of the London-based Porphyrios Associates. Known for the use of traditional and classical architectural forms, his work has been acclaimed in Europe, the United States and the Middle East. Dr. Porphyrios designed the Grove Quadrangle at Magdalen College, Oxford University and, most recently, Whitman College, Princeton University's sixth residential college. Other projects include the Brindleyplace office buildings; the town of Pitiousa in Spetses, Greece; the new Duncan Galleries in Lincoln, Nebraska; the King's Cross master plan in London and a number of urban projects for resort towns and inner-city developments in the United Kingdom and around the world.

An advisor to the Prince of Wales, Dr. Porphyrios is known for designs responsive to region, climate, nature and culture. His architecture gives new insight into the use of tradition and modernity. "A work is classical," Mr. Porphyrios says, "not because it is immutable, eternal and sacred but because it continually searches for and brings out the new. Classicism is not a style. Classicism is not a doctrine; it is philosophy of life. It is the philosophy of free will nurtured by tradition."

Dr. Porphyrios has been Thomas Jefferson Professor at the University of Virginia and Davenport and Bishop Professor at Yale University. He also has taught at the Architectural Association, Polytechnic of Central London and the Royal College of Art in London.

Dr. Porphyrios was educated at Princeton University, where he received his Master of Architecture and Ph.D. in the History and Theory of Architecture.

His publications include "Sources of Modern Eclecticism," "On the Methodology of Architectural History," "Building and Architecture," "Classicism is Not a Style," "D. Porphyrios: Selected Buildings and Writings," "Classical Architecture," guest editor of "Neoclassical Architecture in Cpoenhagen and Athens" and, most recently, "Demetri Porphyrios." Porphyrios has also taught at Yale before; he was the Davenport Professor of Architectural Design in 1989 and 1991.

Porphyrios Associates website has detailed information on all projects, past and present.

Some projects

Town of Pitioussa, Spetses Greece 1993 - 1996

Duncan Galleries, Lincoln Nebraska 1999 - 2000

Magdelen College Grove Quadrangle, Oxford University England 1994 - 1998

Three Brindley Place, Birmingham 1996 - 1998

On a final note, I have a book on his work which include masterplans for Cavo Salomonti on Crete and the Allatini flour mills in Thessaloniki. Does anyone know if these were undertaken and completed?

1,298 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
National Archeological Museum ca 1866-1889

Address: 44, Patission Str

Architects: Ludwig Lange, Panages Kalkos, Harmodios Vlachos and Ernst Ziller

It is the most important archaeological museum in Greece and one of the richest in the world concerning ancient Greek art. Its collections are representative of all the cultures that flourished in Greece.

The construction of the museum was begun in 1866 and completed in 1889 with the gradual addition of the west wing in 1874, of the north in 1881, of the south in 1885 and finally, of the east wing. The building was erected in a large plot donated by Helen Tositsa, with the financial support of Demetrios and Nicolaos Vernardakis, the Archaeological Society and the Greek state.

The University Students' Centre

Address: Akadimias and Hippokratus

The Centre which has been operating since 1923, is aimed at improving students' living conditions, along with their social and intellectual development and recreation, through processes of perticipation, socialization and self-administration.

Since 1930 the centre is located at the corner of Hippokratous and Akademias Streets. The building was constructed in the period between the two World Wars, with plans based on the study drawn in 1927 by the architect E. Lazarides. Today, it belongs to the National and Kapodistrian University (Bequest of Papadakis).

Numismatic Museum ca 1879

Architect: Ernst Ziller

"Iliou Melathron" was the residence of Heinrich Schliemann, the German archaeologist and great friend of Greece. The building, built in 1879, is surrounded by a garden embracing its three sides. Its ground plan has an almost quadrangle outline of 23 x 25 meters and a twin monumental staircase on the northern side. The facade is decorated from down to two-stories upwards by rows of Ionian style columns. The interior has been affluently garnished by "Pompeian" wall paintings and other decorative wall and ceiling illustrations. It is considered to be the best Renaissance-style work of Hernest Ziller. As it happens with many others of Ziller's works, the structure of the facets in a "base-body-crowning" design is also evident in Iliou Melathron, in accordance with the classicism's principle of "horizontalization." The building is a representative sample of the mature Greek Neoclassicism and was once the most luxurious private edifice of Athens -a huge amount of money was spent back then for its construction.

In 1927 it was purchased by the Greek State and housed the Supreme Court. Now, it houses the Numismatic Museum.

The works conducted by the Ministry of Culture's Directorate of Museum Works Conduction for its full restoration are about to be completed soon. Works are also conducted for the conservation of the wall-paintings and other decorations as it happens for the reformation of the building to serve as a Museum.

By a ministerial decree of 1952, the building was identified as "in need of special protection" according to the relevant 1950 Law.

The Eye-Clinic ca 1847-1854

Address: Panepistimiou & Sina Streets

The building housing today the Athens Eye-Clinic is a rare sample of a romantic edifice of a Byzantine style in Greece. The central building consists of the basement and the ground-floor (first phase, 1847-1854) and chamber floor (second phase, 1869).

By a 1962 ministerial decree, the main and the auxiliary building of Sina Street were identified as a work of art.

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