131 years ago, on October 20, 1888 one of Athens’ architectural landmarks, the Zappeion Megaron was inaugurated.
Located in the heart of the Greek capital, inside the National Gardens of Athens, the Zappeion, as it is commonly referred to, was part of Athens’ preparations for the revival of the first modern Olympic Games, that took place in 1896.
Designed by the famous Danish architect Theophil Hansel, the Zappeion follows a simple classical form, with elements and details influenced by ancient Greece’s classical period.
The Greek government allocated a massive land area in the center of the city and Evangelos Zappas, the building’s benefactor, would fund the project.
Its cornerstone was laid in 1874 and 14 years later, on October 20, 1888, the construction was ready.
One distinctive characteristic of the construction is that Athens’ Zappeion Megaron is almost identical to the Parliament of Austria in Vienna, as the latter was also designed by Hansen.
Throughout its long history, the Zappeion has played a crucial role in Greece’s landmark events.
For example, in 1938, the Athens Radio Station, the country’s first official national radio broadcaster, began operating on the premises of Zappeion.
In May 1979, Greece officially signed its accession to the then European Economic Community, today’s European Union.
There, Greece became the tenth member of the European family, changing the country’s history since then.
During the Olympic Games of 2004 that was hosted by Greece, Zappeion was the official press center of the Games.
Today, Zappeion is used primarily as an exhibition and conference center, both for public and private events.