Did you ever visit the Greek Parliament in Athens? It is housed in a building with interesting architecture and great history, in one of the most central parts of the city, at the Syntagma square. Most likely you have seen or passed from the building and also watched the changing of the guards, by the Evzones, also known as  Tsoliades. They guard the Monument of the Unknown Soldier in front of the Hellenic Parliament.

Omilo students regularly get the opportunity to join a guided tour and visit the interior of the Parliament. The guide teaches us a lot, not only about the building but also about the history of modern Greece.

Have a look at our small video with the Parliament and the area of Sintagma square.

Some history 

The parliament building was originally used as the residence of the royal family. Its construction began in 1863 and ended in 1943. The proposal for the location (in the center of Athens with a view to Acropolis) and the architectural drawings were made by the director of the Munich Academy of Arts and official architect of the Bavarian court, Friedrich von Gaertner.

The first royal family, Otto and Amalia, settled in their new home on 25 July 1843. Queen Amalia took particular care on the formation of the Royal Gardens (now Ethnikos Kipos), which were right next to the Palace. In 1862, the palace was inhabited by the new king of Greece, George the First. In 1922, the royal family left the palace and the building was used by government agencies. In 1929, it was converted into the Greek Parliament.

The electorate elects MP’s at a general election by direct, universal and secret ballot. Since 1952 the overall number of Hellenic Parliament members (MP’s) has been 300. They are elected every 4 years and they have the legislative power.