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The National Historical Museum of Greece in Athens with the statue of Kolokotronis in front


National Historical Museum

The National Historical Museum is located in the beginning of Stadiou Street, a short distance from Syntagma Square. It was built on the site of the former residence of Al. Kontostavlos, one of the richest merchants of Athens and, even earlier in 1813, it was the residence of King Otto of Greece. After the constitutional movement of 3 September 1843 and the grant of a constitution by King Otto in 1844, the building became the seat of the Greek Parliament. It was used for meetings of the Parliament and the Senate.

The congress hall of the former Greek ParliamentIn October 1854 the building was completely destroyed by fire. A new, neoclassical building was built in 1858 designed by the architect François Boulanger. Designed primarily as a parliament building, it included two amphitheatres, one for parliamentary meetings and another for meetings of the Senate. Construction stopped soon after it started because of financial difficulties. By the time they resumed again in 1863, the institution of the Senate had been abolished, which necessitated a change of plan and the necessary modifications were made by the Greek architect Panagiotis Kalkos.

The building founded in 1835 by Queen Amalia, was completed in 1871 and it housed the Parliament from 1875 to 1935 when the institution was transferred to the Old Palace in Syntagma Square. The building then served as the Ministry of Justice and from 1962 it houses the National Historical Museum created by the Historical and Ethnological Society of Greece. The old parliament is an architectural jewel in the centre of Athens. While its grand congress hall is a place of historic significance, it also is appropriate for hosting major cultural and historical events today. A great segment of the collection, gathered since the founding of the society, is part of the permanent exhibition of the museum, presented in the rooms encircling the congress hall.

The collection of the National History Museum covers modern Greek history and folklore from the 15th to the 20th century AD. Exhibits from the periods of Frankish and Ottoman rule (15th to 19th century) are displayed as well as the preparation, the outbreak and the development of the War of Independence of 1821.

The throne of King Otto and the desk and personal items of King George I - National Historical MuseumThere are also exhibits connected with

• prominent Greek scholars and clergymen, the philhellenes,
  Ioannis Kapodistrias, the first Governor of Greece (1828-1831)
• the reign of Otto, first king of Greece (1833-1862)
• the reign of King George I (1864-1913)
• the Balkan Wars (1912-1913)
• the Asia Minor Campaign (1919-1922)
• the Greek-Italian War of 1940-1941

The historical exhibits consist of collections of historical and folklore material including weaponry, flags, works of art, memorabilia, medals, personal items of historical figures, furniture, folk costumes and everyday life and folk art items.

The area around the Old Parliament has three statues. On the square leading from Stadiou Street you’ll find the statue of Theodoros Kolokotronis on horseback. He was one of the leading figures of the War of Independence, the battle of Dervenakia and the Assembly of the Peloponnesian Senate.

On the sides of the museum there are statues of two Greek politicians of the 19th century, Charilaos Trikoupis (by Thomas Thomopoulos, 1920) and Theodoros Diligiannis, the Prime Minister who was assassinated at the entrance to the Parliament in 1905 (Georgios Dimitriadis, 1924).

Today, the National Historical Museum is also a research centre for modern Greek history.

The Historical and Ethnological Society of Greece

The society was established in 1882 by prominent scholars and artists. Among them were The logo of the Historical and Ethnological Society of GreeceTimoleon Filimon (first president of the society), Nikolaos Plitis, Spyridon Lambros, Dimitrios Kombouroglou, Antonios Miliarakis and Georgios Drosinis.

The society’s aim is to preserve and promote the material and spiritual monuments of modern Greek history. It established the Historical Ethnological Museum in 1896, the forerunner of the National Historical Museum which was housed in a room of the Technical University of Athens. Today, apart from the National Historical Museum, the society has a historical archive and a library and it is active in research and publishing.

Opening hours Opening hours and admission
Locaton map 13, Stadiou Street

Nearest metro station
Syntagma Top



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