The Greek Revival
In the early 19th century Greece waged a war against the Ottoman Empire and emerged in 1833 as an independent nation-state founded upon the ruins of an ancient civilization. Greece’s first King, Otto of Bavaria, found the impressively monumental architecture of ancient Greece a suitable model for his new kingdom. Soon European architects will arrive in Athens to materialize Otto’s dreams of a Utopia in Neoclassical garb.
Walk in a nutshell
This walk includes some of Athens's finest Neo-Classical buildings, historic houses of worship, stately mansions, royal palaces and the pinnacle of Athenian Neoclassicism, the architectural trilogy consisting of the National Library, the University and the Academy of Athens.
Almost a century ago, 24-year-old Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, the future Le Corbusier, saw the Acropolis in Athens for the first time. This was an essential step in his ‘Voyage d’Orient’, a legendary journey to the East in search of the fundamentals of architecture. Le Corbusier will visit Athens again in 1933 during the fourth CIAM (International Congresses of Modern Architecture), in the wake of which prominent Greek architects established a close contact to the leading figures of Modernism.
Walk in a nutshell
This tour takes in fine examples of modernist architecture that began to appear courtesy of a school of architects who had drunk at the Le Corbusier table throughout their professional careers. Focusing on boroughs where an unusually rich collection of modern buildings can be found, we will discuss the efforts of Greek architects to combine the contemporary international trends with a signature of Greek expression.
“The humble houses of the Greek Islands are the archetypes of our modern architecture”
Anastasios Orlandos, Professor of History at the NTUA