THE OLD PALACE
building, which houses Parliament, was initially constructed as
the Palace of Otto, the first king of Greece. The area where the
Palace was to be constructed was carefully chosen and the works
began in 1836. The drawings were made by Friedrich Gaertner, a
famous architect, who had inter alia designed the Royal Palace
of Munich and the Ermitage Museum of St. Petesburg. Six years
later, the building was completed. Otto's family lived there for
twenty years and the building was then inhabited by the royal
family of Gluecksburg. In 1884 a fire broke out and it destroyed
the north section of the building causing great damage to the
Palace. A second fire in December 1909 burnt down the main section
of the Palace. The royal family then moved to the summer residence
of Dekeleia ( Tatoi) and never returned to the old Palace. The
old Palace building remained uninhabited until 1929.
THE PRESENT PARLIAMENT
The old Palace in Syntagma Square was used in later times for
a different purpose. In 1929 the Government decided that the Parliament
should be removed from the Old Chamber of Deputies in Stadiou
Street to the Old Palace. The architect Andreas Kriezis was entrusted
with the task of transforming the building. The works for the
modification of the Old Palace began in the summer of 1930. The
main section, which was destroyed by the 1909 fire, was demolished.
In its place was built the great conference room and the Senate
room with glass roofs in order to enable natural lightning. The
other sections of the building retained their original form with
the exception of the floor that was replaced by a layer of beton
arme. A new entrance was constructed in the northern part of the
Senate was the first to move into the building of the Old Palace
on the 2nd of August 1934. Parliament moved there a year later on
the 1st of July 1935 and the Fifth National Assembly began its work.
The monument of the Unknown Soldier, constructed by the architect
Lazaridis, was placed in the yard of the Old Palace in 1932 and
remains, ever since, the epicentre of national celebrations.
building houses the Parliament since 1935, with only a few exceptions
during the dictatorship of Metaxas, the German conquest and the
coup that was staged by junta (stratocracy) on April the 21st, 1967.