About National Historical Museum
Considered one of the architectural jewels of Athens, the National Historical Museum is a building of significant national importance and covers all of the major Greek events, history and folklore from the Byzantine period to the 20th century, displayed in chronological order.
History of the National Historical Museum
The National Historical Museum belongs to The Historical and Ethnological Society of Greece (HESG), founded in 1882 for the purpose of collecting, saving and presenting relics and documentary evidence related to modern Greek history.
The museum is housed in the Old Parliament Building, founded in 1835 by Queen Amalia, which housed the Greek Parliament from 1875-1935 until the parliament was relocated to the Old Royal Palace in Syntagma Square in 1935. Outside the building is a copy of the statue of Kolokotronis on horseback, made in 1900.
The National Historical Museum today
Today the National Historical Museum provides a fascinating insight into modern Greek history. Highlights include Venetian armour, regional costumes, jewellery, Byron’s sword, famous weapons, King Otto’s throne and also the actual pen used to sign the Treaty of Serves in 1920. Other exhibits include arms and armoury, flags, paintings, engravings, prints, architectural drawings, costumes and jewellery, memorabilia, furniture and folk art.
The museum also houses the Library of the Historical and Ethnological Society of Greece, the Historic Documents Archive, the Photography Archive and a Conservation Lab and is also a centre of research for modern Greek history.
It is open every Tuesday to Sunday from 9am-2pm except 1 January.
Getting to the National Historical Museum
The museum is located just north west of the National Garden in central Athens, and is around a 20 minute walk from the Acropolis. The nearest Metro stop to the museum is Syntagma station, though Panepistimio station is also close-by.
Greece Historic Sites
Alongside its contributions to philosophy, astrology, and medicine, Greece's sites from classical antiquity have stood the test of time. Here are 10 must-see sites for any visiting history enthusiast.