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National Historical Museum

The National Historical Museum (Old Parliament House)

The National Historical Museum (Old Parliament House)

If you are interested in the Greek War of Independence and its artifacts, then The National Historical museum is the place you should visit first! Housed in the Old Parliament, building which was founded in 1835 and is an architectural jewel in the centre of Athens, the museum serves the purpose of collecting, saving and presenting relics and documentary evidence relating to modern history.

heodoros Kolokotronis

Bronze statue of Theodoros Kolokotronis, by Lazaros Sochos, in front of the Old Parliament House (actual National Historical Museum)

The permanent exhibition covers a large part of the items amassed and studied by the Historical and Ethnological Society of Greece. Through displays arranged in chronological order, the visitor can trace the historical and cultural course of Greece from the fall of Constantinople in 1453 through to the war between the Greeks and the Italians in 1940.

The National Historical Museum (Old Parliament House) at night

The National Historical Museum (Old Parliament House) at night

The museum has a well-stocked shop selling some three hundred different items – especially traditional jewellery and ornaments. Also available are museum publications, jigsaw puzzles on historical themes, and hand-made metal soldiers.

a pic of The National Historical Museum from the begging of the 20th century

a pic of The National Historical Museum from the begging of the 20th century

Historical and Ethnological Society of Greece

In addition, the museum houses the Historical and Ethnological Society of Greece. Founded in 1882 and immediately set out to preserve documents and objects relating to modern Greek history, Frankish and Ottoman rule, and the Greek War of Independence. At that time, a number of that war’s protagonists were still alive. Members of the society literally knocked on doors to raise support for their endeavor.

It owns one of the richest libraries on the study of modern Greece, a wide array of banners, military uniforms, stamps, medals and maps, and one of the most important photography archives in Greece.

In 1960, the society took over the Old Parliament building in order to house and exhibit the precious historical objects, books and documents it held in its possession. Two years later, in 1962, the exhibits went on permanent public display. To this day, the National Historical Museum’s high visitor numbers prove its popularity remains unfailing.

The Old Parliament House

The Old Parliament House in Athens, housed the Greek Parliament between 1875 and 1935. Originally there was the house of the Athenian magnate and politician, Alexandros Kontostavlos. In 1833, King Otto selected it as temporary residence, pending the construction of the Royal Palace (which houses Parliament currently).

After the 1843 Revolution, 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 Fran├žois Boulanger.

Construction was halted the next year due to lack of funds, and not restarted until after Otto was deposed in 1863; the plans were then modified by the Greek architect Panagiotis Kalkos, and construction was complete by 1871. During the interim, Parliament had been housed on the back of the square in a brick building, hastily erected in 1863, which became colloquially known as "the Shanty" (Paragka).

National Historical Museum

Old Parliament House
15 Stadiou Av.,
10561, Athens, Greece
Telephone: +30 210 32376177, 210 3237315, 210 3222266
Fax: +30 210 3213786

Tuesday to Sunday 08.30 – 14.30
Monday: closed.

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