Syntagma Square in Athens

Sunday, 28 January 2024 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General
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Syntagma Square as seen from atop Pallis Mansion © C messier/cc-by-sa-4.0

Syntagma Square as seen from atop Pallis Mansion © C messier/cc-by-sa-4.0

Syntagma Square (“Constitution Square”) is the central square of Athens, Greece. The square is named after the Constitution that Otto, the first King of Greece, was obliged to grant after a popular and military uprising on 3 September 1843. It is located in front of the 19th-century Old Royal Palace, housing the Greek Parliament since 1934. Syntagma Square is the most important square of modern Athens from both a historical and social point of view, at the heart of commercial activity and Greek politics. The name Syntagma alone also refers to the neighbourhood surrounding the square. The metro station underneath the square, where lines 2 and 3 connect, along with the tram terminal and the numerous bus stops, constitutes one of the busiest transport hubs in the country.

The square is bordered by Amalia Avenue (Leofóros Amalías) to the east, Otto Street (Óthonos) to the south and King George I Street (Vasiléos Georgíou Prótou) to the north. The street bordering the square to the west, connecting Stadiou Street with Fillelinon Street, is simply named “Syntagma Square” (Plateia Syntágmatos). The eastern side of the square is higher than the western, and dominated by a set of marble steps leading to Amalias Avenue; beneath these lies the Syntagma metro station. The stairs emerge below between a pair of outdoor cafes, and are a popular city-centre gathering place. Syntagma also includes two green areas to the north and south, planted with shade trees, while in the centre of the square there is a large mid-19th century water fountain.

The Old Royal Palace neoclassical building, housing the Greek Parliament since 1934, is immediately across Amalias Avenue to the east, and surrounded by the extensive National Gardens, which are open to the public; the Parliament itself is not open to the public, even when not in session. Every hour, the changing of the guard ceremony, performed by the Presidential Guard, is conducted in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on the area between the Syntagma Square and Parliament building. On certain days, a ceremonial changing of the guard occurs with an army band and the majority of the 120 Evzones present at 11 am.

© A.Savin/cc-by-sa-3.0 © Chabe01/cc-by-sa-4.0 Changing of the Guard: Evzones in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier © Brastite/cc-by-sa-4.0 © Everlind/cc-by-3.0 © flickr.com - Sjaak Kempe/cc-by-2.0 Syntagma Square as seen from Amalias Avenue © C messier/cc-by-sa-4.0 Syntagma Square as seen from atop Pallis Mansion © C messier/cc-by-sa-4.0 © A.Savin/cc-by-sa-3.0
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Changing of the Guard: Evzones in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier © Brastite/cc-by-sa-4.0
The square was designed and constructed in the early 19th century, shortly after King Otto moved the capital of the newly born Greek Kingdom from Nafplio to Athens in 1834. It was designed as one of the two central squares of modern Athens, situated to what were then the eastern boundaries of the city. The second square was Omonoia Square, to the north of the city. Even though King Otto’s Royal Palace was at first planned to be erected on Omonia Square, a location overlooking the eastern square was deemed a better option. Thus, the square’s first name was “Palace Square”. Work for the construction of the Old Palace to the north of the square, started in 1836 and lasted until 1843. In late July 1843, a popular and military uprising took place in the Greek Capital on September 3, 1843. Soldiers under Dimitrios Kallergis gathered in front of the palace and demanded the granting of constitution. King Otto was then obliged to grant the first Constitution of Greece. In memory of the event, the palace square was renamed to Constitution Square or Syntagma Square in Greek. The square is located near many of Athens’ oldest and most famous neighbourhoods and tourist attractions, all within walking distance:

Historic churches also dot the area, some dating from the Middle Ages.

Read more on Wikipedia Syntagma Square (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.






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