Syntagma Square is the heart of modern Athens. Also known as Constitution Square, it is a huge public plaza stretching out in front of the Greek Parliament Building. The scene for many celebrations and demonstrations, the square has recently been refurbished as part of the development of the Athens metro system.
Gleaming with white marble and suitably formal with its symmetry and statues, it is a place for meeting friends, sheltering from the sun under trees, or just sitting and people watching. Many of the city's most important streets begin here: Ermou Street for expensive shopping, and Vassilissis Sophias Avenue, also known as Museum Mile.
The neoclassical Parliament Building at one end of Syntagma Square was built around 1843 as a palace for the unwelcome King Otto of Bavaria. It had 365 rooms and one bathroom. Hopefully when it was remodeled in 1910 to house Parliament this ratio was changed. The square was once Queen Amalia's private gardens.
In front of the Parliament Building, the elite Presidential Guards, or Ezvones, guard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier 24 hours a day and you can watch the official Changing of the Guard at 11am on Sundays. On other days they march around and change places every hour.
Syntagma metro station is below and has several entrances around the square. Syntagma Square is a hub for transport in Athens and there are buses galore. From here you can also catch the coastal tram to the beaches. The National Gardens are just across the road from the square.
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