Syntagma Square/Parliament, Athens
A free wifi Internet connection service is now available on Syntagma square. This service is going to be free ultil December 2007 (that's the plan at the moment). More information on www.athenswifi.gr
So now, with either a laptop or mobile supporting wifi technologies, you can connect for free to Internet, while enjoying your coffee on the square's cafe... Ok, that's good news!
Favorite thing: Here beats the heart of the modern city. The Parliament at the east of the square reminds the derivation of its name. In 1843 the Greeks reciever their first constitution from king Othon, after many demonstrations. Now in this area there are the most important companies and banks, and also one of the main central shopping road starts from Sintagma square.
Favorite thing: The plain, neoclassical buildiing which is the Parliament of the Greeks today, was between 1834 - 1838 as the palace of the first kings. In front of the bulilding is the monument of the Unknown soldier, with the two guards, called "Evzoni" who are the presidential guards.
Favorite thing: Syndagma Square is what I consider to be the heart of Athens. It is a central place, close to everything and filled with restaurants, hotels, shops (it's where the commercial Ermou street starts), lots of people and lots of dogs! The ceremony in the tomb of the Unknown Soldier takes place here.
It was first designed in 1840, when queen Amalia ordered more than 15.000 saplings to be transferred there. You can walk along the nice footpaths of the National Garden and admire its beauty. Visit the small zoo (peacocks are always impressive!), the Botanical Museum, even a nice cafe near Irodou Attikou street.
Birdwatching visits -by the Hellenic Ornithological Society- or special events can be also organised there. It is surely an ideal place for children...
It was built between 1836-1840 and first housed the palace of Otto (1815-1867), who was the first king of Greece, for 30 years, 1833-1862. Since 1935, the building houses the Parliament (at the previous years, it was housed at the today National Historical Museum, not far away from this building, see the appropriate "must see activities" tip).
The Parliament is among the National Garden and Syntagma square. Temporary exhibitions are held there time by time. If you want to learn more about it, visit the web address "www.parliament.gr".
Favorite thing: It is located between the Parliament, Zappeio and the residence of the President of Democracy (this building was designed by the German architect Hernest Ziller in 1878 and used by the kings between 1890-1967). The National Garden is a paradise at the centre of traffic jungle... The numerous ducks inside it are something like its symbol. The entrance is free.
The Hellenic Parliament in Amalias Avenue.The street on the left is Vassilissis Sofias (Queen's Sofia) Avenue.
Outside of the Parliament you can see Evzonoi right and left of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
If you want to feel the taste of Athens take a walk from one main square of the city - OMONIA to another one - SINDAGMA. Near Sindagma there is the PARLIAMENT BUILDING, where the change of guards takes place every hour. If you walk a little further, you'll se ATHENS STADIUM where the first Olympic Games of our epoch took place (1896, organized by Pierre de Coubertin).
Fondest memory: The Parliament is guarded by tall and handsome national guardsmen dressed in national costumes and strange shoes. The shoes weigh 3,5 kilos each! The procedure of changing the guards is very amusing - the movements of soldiers remind of ballet pas.
Flanking the eastern side of Syntagma Square is the former Royal Palace, now the Parliament Building.
It's an exciting experience to watch the changing of the guard in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The dressing of these guards are funny. :-)
Syntagma Sq. is the site of Ex-King Othos' palace and now home to the Parliament Building or 'Vouli' of the Greek Government. It is among the most ordered and well planned out parts of the city and the logh-iko or logical place to center oneself.
From Syntagma one can see the Acropolis (512 ft.) and Mt. Lykabethus (1000 ft.) with its Church of St. George.
The square is a conflicting mixture of bumper to bumper cars and shoulder to shoulder people on its lower permiter and a more serene, wide, tree shaded, central expanse; the focus of which is a brown marble fountain just visible in the center of the picture above right. The benches provide ample room to take a break in the shade.
Syntagma is maybe the most center spot in the city.
near the squere you can see the parlament building and the national gardens.