Hello, my friends. If you follow my posts, you will understand that the old buildings excite me and every time they appear in front of me, I don΄t miss the opportunity to capture some pictures of them. In today's post, I will show you a very popular neoclassical stately building located in downtown Athens. This building is perfectly intertwined with modern Greek history and fortunately is very well preserved to this day. Its name is Zappeion mansion and it is the first indoor Olympic building.
The benefactor of the Zappeion mansion was Evangelos Zappas, who had dedicated his life to the revival of the Olympic Games and the spread of Greek culture. In 1856 he published a memorandum proposing the organization of the Olympic Games in Athens and the construction of an Olympic building where a sample of Greek art and industry would be exhibited. In 1869 The Greek parliament has allocated an area of 80,000 square meters between the royal palace and the temple of Olympian Zeus to build the new Olympic building proposed by Zappas. On January 20 of 1874, the construction of the mansion has started by the architect F. Boulanger. but 6 years later Theophilus Hansen took over the construction after suspicions of serious financial abuse by the previous architect. Finally, the inauguration of the building took place with all formality on October 20 of 1888.
After the inauguration of the Zappeion mansion. the magnificent building played a leading role in the history of modern Greece. In 1896, when the first modern Olympic Games took place, fencing competitions were hosted in the circular hall of the Zappeion, while in 1906, when the second modern Olympic Games took place, it was used as an Olympic village. From 1936 to 1940 it hosted the first state radio station and in 1940 it was converted into a hospital. One year later it was commanded by the German occupation army and turned into warehouses and in 1944 into a military camp. In 1945 it was hit by bombing and after the war, its demolition is discussed. Fortunately, in 1960 a general repair was carried out, under the supervision of the architects A. Ploumistou and F. Panagiotopoulos. Its last renovation took place in view of the 2004 Olympic Games and was completed in 2007. Today it is used as a venue for events and exhibitions
In addition to the wonderful architecture of the building, there is also the beautiful garden of the building consisting of about 120 acres of greenery and about 2.5 acres of patios and courtyards. In the garden of Zappeion, there are many trees such as plane trees, eucalyptus and pines. There is also an impressive fountain that offers coolness and relaxation to its guests. Unfortunately today the garden of this historical building is used by gay men for sex meetings and it also gathers foreign male prostitutes during the night. Furthermore, there is a cafeteria near the zappeion mansion where you can enjoy your drink or snacks near this historical building.
So that was it for today. If you enjoy pictures of old buildings and some history of them stay tuned because more relevant content is going to be published on my blog. Thanks for stopping by, see you at my upcoming posts. :)