Syntagma Square - Parliament, Athens
Syntagma Square (Plateia Syntagmatos) is the home of the Greek Parliament and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, unveiled on Independence Day - 25 March 1932.
The National Guard (evzones) is a constant presence at the Tomb, with 11am on Sunday time for ceremonial changing of the guard.
Some people just pass them every day on their way to school, work, play or shop. But for us tourists, we find them fascinating, colorful and just assures us that everywhere, people have something in common whether it be things we consider fun, things that children love to do, things older people like to do. etc.
The photo opportunity is free so, why not go around and see if you can catch more "cows"?
Syntagma Square, or Constitution Square, is the center of Athens. The impressive neo-classical Parliament Building is the most imposing structure on Syntagma Square. Syntagma is a place for people watching. You can sit down in a cafe to watch the world go by while sipping a cup of Greek coffee. Panepistimou is just off Syntagma and leads to Omonia Square. Ermou, the pedestrian shopping mall, is also off Syntagma.
The Greek Parliament building is a pink neo-classical building right on Syntagma Square. Originally built by the Bavarian architect Von Gartner between 1836 and 1842, it is the seat of the Greek parliament. It was from the balcony of this building that the syntagma (constitution) was declared on 3 September 1843.
The war memorial in the forecourt is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. It is guarded by the famous evzones, the presidential guards whose uniform of a short kilt and pom-pom shoes are a tourist attraction by itself. The changing of the guards takes place every hour.
Situated at the top of Syntagma Square is the Parliament Building, center of political administration of Greece. Built in the 19th century by King Otto, it was originally the King's Palace. This is a popular spot for tourists who come to watch the changing of the guards and visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Besides the large crowds of tourist, there are also many pesky pigeons attracted by food handed out by visitors. I'm not too keen on pigeons because some of them carry diseases & poop on you
You will get a treat when you enter some metro stations in downtown Athens because during the excavation & construction works, they uncovered many underground buildings, artifacts and other priceless items from the past. These items were restored and displayed at the metro stations where they were found.
The Syntagma Square metro station holds a secret about the third river that flowed in Athens. Currently only two rivers flow, Kifisós and Ilissus rivers, but during the excavation, they found the dry riverbed of Eridanos River, which used to flow from Lycavittos Hill. You will see this through a glass wall of the metro station, including ancient graves from Ancient Greek, Byzatine period & Early Christian time on top of the other.
Admission is FREE!
At the top of Syntagma is the Parliament Building, formerly the King's Palace, built between 1836 and 1840 by King Otto and financed by his father Ludwig I of Bavaria. The original idea was to put the king's palace on the Acropolis but luckily this never happened. The classical style of architecture, known as neo-classical which originated in Greece and is the dominant style of all the old public buildings, houses and mansions of
Athens, was actually re-imported into Greece in the late eighteen hundreds from Europe and then modified (improved) by Greek architects.
Parliament and Syndagma Square are reather impressive in their own right. Syndagma square is a large and open space the begins/ends the rather claustrophobic Ermou shopping street. Its like a shining beacon of marble at the end of a tunnel of shadow. Parliament, on the other hand, rises like a pink mass at the start of Kolonaki. It was originally used by the Bavarian King Otto starting in 1842, but is now a symbol of the Greek Republic.
The focal point of Syntagma Square is the Athens PARLIAMENT BUILDING. Built in 1840 under King Otto, the building served as the Roayal Palace until 1910 when it was destroyed by fire. It was reconstructed and reopened in 1935 as the seat of the National Assembly.
The Changing of the Guard takes place in front of the Parliament Building every hour on the hour. This ceremony is performed by a larger group of soldiers, the Evzones, every Sunday at 10:00 a.m.
I had read much about Syntagma Square in my guide book and had expected much more than what I actually saw. Its a busy street with many cars, red lights, and people. The Parliment Building stands in Syntagma Square. After all of the beautiful historic buildings I saw in Athens, the Parliment building was a bit of a disappointment for me. I did enjoy watching the guards though. I found their uniforms interesting. I did feel a little sorry them the day I visited. It was extremely warm that afternoon and they had to stand guard motionless in the heat with no shade anywhere nearby. There is a picture of the guards inculded in this group of pictures for this tip.
This is fun although you have to be sure you can handle Alfred Hitchcock.
These birds must be the best fed in the world, just buy a bag of bird food for EUR 1,00 and they will come to you... hold some in your hand and they will fly onto your amrs and head.... after some starting problems Emily very much enjoyed this and with a heroic look on her face accepted the fact that the doves´ feet and claws left scratches on her arms.
Syntagma square named after the constitution by King Otto in 1843
it is the centre of Athens near to most tourist attractions also
were the Greek parliament is(across the road)and where many
demonstrations take place
Hellenic parliament or(royal palace) when there was a royal family in Greece was turn in 1929 from old palace in house of parliament.In front of the building there is the monument of the unknown soldier
We were a little disappointed by the square, as most of the middle was blocked off. Granted, I'm sure they were getting prepared for the Christmas Market, so what did we expect visiting in early December. The square was still bustling with activity and it was nice to sit and enjoy a couple beers watching the traffic go by, while being amazed we didn't see a number of accidents. It was also a good point to catch the different trains and to start the walk to the Monastiraki area.
Syntagma (Constitution) Square is arguably Athens' most central focus and with its magnificent Metro station is the hub of the city's public transport system with connections to lines 2 and 3 of the Metro and to the bus and tram system. The square itself is an Island in the midst of the Athens traffic and is a popular meeting place for Athenians and visitors alike.
This, like the nearby Monastiraki, is a great place to sit in one of the terraced cafes with a cold beer and just watch the world go by - though beware that a beer will be about 5 euros and a coffee at least 3!
The square is also a free Wi-Fi zone provided by the city municipality.