Old Royal Palace

The Old Royal Palace (Greek: Παλαιά Ανάκτορα Palaiá Anáktora) is the first royal palace of modern Greece, completed in 1843. It has housed the Hellenic Parliament since 1934. The Old Palace is situated at the heart of modern Athens, facing onto Syntagma Square.

Old Royal Palace
Παλαιά Ανάκτορα
Griechisches Parlament
Old Royal Palace is located in Athens
Old Royal Palace
Location within Athens
General information
Architectural styleNeoclassical
LocationAthens, Greece
Current tenantsHellenic Parliament
Construction started1836
Inaugurated1843
ClientLudwig I of Bavaria
Design and construction
ArchitectFriedrich von Gärtner
Website
www.hellenicparliament.gr

History

The palace was designed by Bavarian architect Friedrich von Gärtner for King Otto of Greece and his wife, Queen Amalia, with funds donated by Otto's father, King Ludwig I of Bavaria. Previous proposals had placed the new palace at the sites of Omonoia Square, Kerameikos and even on top the Acropolis of Athens.

Construction work started in 1836 and was completed in 1843.[1] As it served originally as a palace for the Greek monarchs for about a century, it is sometimes still referred to as the "Old Palace".

Greek Old Royal Palace on fire crop
The Royal Palace the year of the 1909 fire.

After suffering fire damage in 1909, it entered a long period of renovation. During renovations the King and his family moved to the Crown Prince's Palace, from then on known as the "New Palace", one block to the east on Herodou Attikou Street.

Some of the royal family, chiefly the dowager Queen Olga, continued to reside in the "Old Palace" until 1922. In 1924, a referendum abolished the monarchy. The building was then used for many different purposes—housing a variety of government and public services in the 1920s, functioning as a makeshift hospital during World War II, a refugee shelter for Greek refugees from Asia Minor in 1922, a museum with the personal effects of King George I (now part of the collection of the National Historical Museum), and other uses.

In November 1929 the government decided that the building would permanently house Parliament (previously housed in what is now called the Old Parliament House). After more extensive renovations, the Senate convened in the "Old Palace" on 2 August 1934, followed by the Fifth National Assembly on 1 July 1935. Although the monarchy was restored that same year, the building has housed Parliament ever since.

Hellenic Parliament from high above

Aerial photograph of the Old Royal Palace from the Hotel Grande Bretagne.

Hellenic Parliament-MPs swearing in

The interior of the Old Royal Palace

Bibliography

  • Kardamitsi-Adami, Maro (2009). Palaces in Greece. Melissa Books. ISBN 978-960-204-289-2.

References

  1. ^ "Old Palace (today the Greek Parliament)". Contemporary Monuments Database. National Hellenic Research Foundation. Retrieved 10 September 2014.

External links

Coordinates: 37°58′31″N 23°44′13″E / 37.97528°N 23.73694°E

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