Athens Center

Syntagma Square

syntagma square athens

Syntagma square

Syntagma square is the central square of Athens. More specifically its geographical position is in front of the 19th century Old Royal Palace. Moreover it houses the Greek Parliament (ex Old Royal Palace) since 1934. The Syntagma square borders with the Amalias avenue to the east and with Othonos street to the south. Furthermore it borders with Vasileos Georgiou Protou street to the north. The historical hotels King George, Grande Bretagne and Athens Plaza are on Vasileos Georgiou Protou street. Impressively Syntagma consists of a greenery place in the heart of Athens. There can the visitor relax under the shade of the trees. Additionally there is a large water fountain in the center of Syntagma square. A very good route is to walk through Syntagma square, Ermou street and then reach Monastiraki and Thiseio.

Syntagma Square near Zappeio
Walking throurh Syntagma Square, Athens central Park Fountain

What was the first name of the Syntagma square ? Where did the name originate from ?

Palace square was the name of the square because it was in front of King Otto’s Palace. In particular the construction of the square took place in 1834. Then Otto declared Athens as the capital of Greece. King Otto demanded that the buildings which were around the palace should have the same aesthetic. Immediately after the rise of the palace wealthy Athenians built their houses around the palace. The reason for this was because they wanted to live near to the king. Significantly the aesthetic of the area changed because of the construction of luxurious buildings at Syntagma square surroundings. More specifically such buildings were the houses of Skouloudi and Vourou (the current King George). Respectively the construction of the hotels Athens Plaza and Xenon to Filellinon street beautified the Athens center.

Why the square was renamed Syntagma square ?

The square was renamed Syntagma due to the revolution on the 3rd September of 1843. That day the guard of Athens with his chief Dimitrios Kallergis demonstrated in front of the royal palace. Moreover Kallergis expressed the demand for the establishment of constitution. In addition a number of people with his leader Ioannis Makrygiannis arrived shouting “Long live the Constitution”. The common demand of the people and of the army obliged King Otto to proceed to reforms. Consequently King Otto convened the National Assembly and guaranteed the first constitution of Greece.

Ermou Street Athens Center
Shopping at the commercial pedestrian street of Ermou near Syntagma square

About the most modern facts which took place in Syntagma square

The movement of Indignados  demonstrated against the austerity measures at Syntagma square in 2010 and in 2012. Furthermore thousands of people demonstrated against the policy of the Greek government and the European Union. Unfortunately the economy was in fall while the unemployment rates were on a rise. Therefore the European Union obliged the Greek government to strict reforms. Also European Union obliged different Greek political parties to form a Unity Government.


Access:

Metro: line 2 and 3, stop Syntagma square

Tram: stop Syntagma

Buses: 040 (24 hours service from Monday to Sunday) , X14 ( 24 hours service on Saturday and Sunday), T4, T5, T3, X95 (line Syntagma to Athens Airport, 24 hours service).

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