The Hotel Grande Bretagne (Athens, Greece)
The Hotel Grande Bretagne (?????????? ?????? ????????? in greek)
It Is a luxury city hotel in Greece, one of the most luxurious in southern Europe. It is located in central Athens immediately adjacent to Syntagma Square, on the corner of Vasileos Georgiou Avenue and Panepistimiou Streets, and is now part of «The Luxury Collection» hotel chain, managed by the American company Starwood Hotels & Resorts, and owned by LAMPSA HELLENIC HOTELS S.A., where the majority shareholders are the brothers Panos and Thanasis Laskaridis
The structure was built in 1842 as a house for Antonis Dimitriou, a wealthyGreek businessman from the island of Limnos, only 12 years after Greeces independence from Ottoman Rule. It was then bought in 1874 by Efstathios Lampsas, who restored the mansion with an 800,000 drachma loan and named it the Grande Bretagne; by 1888 the hotel had electricity installed. In November 1930 a new wing on Panepistimiou Street was inaugurated and in 1950 another wing on Voukourestiou Street. In 1957 Dimitrious mansion was demolished and a new wing was built on its place. The architect Kostas Voutsinas and the owners decided to try to keep much of the style of the original building.
During the Greco-Italian War and the Battle of Greece in 1940–41, the hotel housed the Greek General Headquarters. Following the Axis occupation of Greece, the hotel served as the Nazi headquarters. British forces made the hotel their headquarters at wars end in 1944.
During the early stages of the Greek Civil War, the hotel housed Prime Minister Georgios Papandreou, the Council of Ministers and the British military assistance force under General Ronald Scobie.
In 2006, the Hotel Grande Bretagne underwent a complete renovation to restore it to its former glory, and approximately 112 million Euros were invested to completely modernize the building. There are 320 comprehensively renovated rooms & suites.
Monuments of Athens
The Acropolis of Athens (???????? ?????? in greek)
Is an ancient citadel located on an extremely rocky outcrop above the city of Athens and contains the remains of several ancient buildings of great architectural and historic significance, the most famous being the Parthenon. The word acropolis comes from the Greek words ????? (akron, «highest point, extremity») and ????? (polis, «city»). Although there are many other acropoleis in Greece, the significance of the Acropolis of Athens is such that it is commonly known as «The Acropolis» without qualification.
While there is evidence that the hill was inhabited as far back as the fourth millennium BC, it was Pericles (c. 495 – 429 BC) in the fifth century BC who coordinated the construction of the sites most important buildings including the Parthenon, the Propylaia, the Erechtheion and the Temple of Athena Nike. The Parthenon and the other buildings were seriously damaged during the 1687 siege by the Venetians in the Morean War when the Parthenon was being used for gunpowder storage and was hit by a cannonball.
The Parthenon (?????????? in greek)
Is a former temple, on the Athenian Acropolis, Greece, dedicated to the goddess Athena, whom the people of Athens considered their patron. Construction began in 447 BC when the Athenian Empire was at the peak of its power. It was completed in 438 BC although decoration of the building continued until 432 BC. It is the most important surviving building of Classical Greece, generally considered the zenith of the Doric order. Its decorative sculptures are considered some of the high points of Greek art. The Parthenon is regarded as an enduring symbol of Ancient Greece, Athenian democracy and western civilization, and one of the worlds greatest cultural monuments. The Greek Ministry of Culture is currently carrying out a programme of selective restoration and reconstruction to ensure the stability of the partially ruined structure.
The Parthenon itself replaced an older temple of Athena, which historians call the Pre-Parthenon or Older Parthenon, that was destroyed in the Persian invasion of 480 BC. The temple is archaeoastronomically aligned to the Hyades. While a sacred building dedicated to the citys patron goddess, the Parthenon was actually used primarily as a treasury. For a time, it served as the treasury of the Delian League, which later became the Athenian Empire. In the final decade of the sixth century AD, the Parthenon was converted into a Christian church dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
After the Ottoman conquest, it was turned into a mosque in the early 1460s. On 26 September 1687, an Ottoman ammunition dump inside the building was ignited by Venetian bombardment. The resulting explosion severely damaged the Parthenon and its sculptures. From 1800 to 1803, Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin removed some of the surviving sculptures with the alleged permission of the Ottoman Empire. These sculptures, now known as the Elgin Marbles or the Parthenon Marbles, were sold in 1816 to the British Museum in London, where they are now displayed. Since 1983 (on the initiative of Culture Minister Melina Mercouri), the Greek government has been committed to the return of the sculptures to Greece.