This is the central square of the Municipality and the largest square in Athens. Until 1843 it was known as Palace Square. It was named because of 3 September 1843 Revolution,when King Otto was forced by the military guard of Athens, who had gathered in the square, supported by a large crowd, to convene a National Assembly and grant the issuance of the fundamental law of state, i.e. the Constitution. Syntagma Square features a 19thcentury marble fountain and is surrounded by significant buildings, such as the Parliament building (which is the Old Palace), with the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the Ministries of Finance and Foreign Affairs and the iconicHotel Grande Bretagne.
Around the square,VasilissisAmalias Avenue, Vasileos Georgiou A’ Street, Othonos Street and Syntagma Square are located, connectingStadiou Street with Filellinon Street.
The municipality of Athens has recently conducted redevelopment projects in the square to improve the lives of citizens and visitors, with the main concern of preserving its historical features while introducing the modern way of life, serving the social life of the capital and the needs of the Athenians for a friendly, accessible and sustainable city.
The original area of the lower square was 2.300 sq.m. Now 1.300 sq.m.of new vital public are has been added. A major widening of sidewalks is taking place, with a dedicated bus lane and 5 bus canopies enhancing sustainable mobility. A total of 24 new trees were planted,thus contributing to the square’s microclimate and shading. Four traffic lanes (out of six) werepermanently arranged, reducing air pollution and noise levels and creating a smart, safe and visible pedestrian crossing.
With the arrangement of a more pedestrian friendly crossing, on the historical hub of Ermou Street, additional road safety conditions were achieved. Additionally, modern infrastructure for the safe and unimpeded movement of individuals with impairments are included, as well as large seating areas, close to the new trees, for comfortable standing, new urban equipment (waste bins, two public fountains, rain gutters, tree grates, etc.) 50 light fixtures with materials of the latest LED technology, adapted to the needs of the modern city that offer energy saving and low light pollution.
Also, two longitudinal pergolas were built between the trees, with a total surface of 262 sq.m., for additional shading and arrangement of the table seats. Cold materials were used for the coating of the lower square, which achieves the reduction of the surface temperature and counteracts the urban heat island phenomenon. The construction of the two small fountains, on either side of Ermou Street, is also being completed, further contributing to the square’s microclimate, offeringvisitors a breath of fresh air, especially during the summer months. Each fountain will have four lighted jets.