Athens and Greek Revival concept

The European dream of liberating Greece and living Renaissance and Enlightenment ages was a reality. Athens architectural plan followed the concept of a thematic park for European. The term of Greek Revival was first used in 1842 by Charles Robert Cockerell in a lecture he gave as Professor of Architecture to the Royal Academy of Arts, London. At that period few Grand Tourists called on Athens during the first half of the 18th century, and none made any significant study of the architectural ruins.

Also European buildings were imitating the Greek Classic style. The earliest Greek building was the Brandenburg Gate (1788–91) by Carl Gotthard Langhans, who modelled it on the Propylaea. Wilkins and Robert Smirke went on to build some of the most important buildings of the era, including the Theatre Royal, the British Museum (1823–48), the Wilkins Building of University College London (1826–30) and the National Gallery (1832–38).

Numismatic Museum in Syntagma 
In Greece the person who led Greek Revival was Heinrich Schliemann. The modern Athens Numismatic Museum, was built as Ιλίου Μέλαθρον (1878-1879), designed by the German architect Ernst Ziller, as the residence of Schliemann’s family. In 1926 the building was sold to the Greek state for the amount of 27.000.000 drachmas. Schliemman funded excavation all over Greece. Today it’s house hosts a very interesting museum. Schliemann’s corpse is today to the First Cemetery in Athens.

Grande Bretagne 

Another prestigious former house, was Grande Bretagne Hotel (1842-1843), in Syntagma, initially built for wealthy Greek merchant Antonis Dimitriou. Athens was not the capital yet and it was a stop from Constantinople trip to Nafplio in Pelopponesus. The King’s cook Stathis Lampsas, went into partnership with the owner of previous Grande Bretagne hotel (located in the corner of Karageorgi Servias and Stadiou) in 1874, and with less than a one million loan in drachmas, bought and renovated Dimitriou mansion. In 1896 Athens first Olympics it hosts notable guests and gains international reputation.


With the house of the British admiral Pulteney Malcolm (1837) in Patissia, the orders for Schaubert and Kleanthis move one. The house now lies on Agias Zonis Street and houses the Hospice for the Disabled of Athens. Also the house of Ambrosios Rallis on Klafthmonos Square, which was built in 1835, also by Kleanthis, later housed the British Embassy until its demolition in 1938.

Take a look at the rest of museums at Athens here.