Covering the period from 1453 to the 1940s, Athens’ National History Museum (Ethnikó Istorikó Mouseío) takes visitors from the Ottoman years right up until the Greek-Italian War. The museum is housed in an ornate Neoclassical palace dating back to 1813 and has seen several incarnations; it was once the home of King Otto, the first Greek monarch after independence in 1832, before being taken over by Greek Parliament, who in turned moved out to the current Parliament Building in Syntagma Square in 1932. Lastly, the Old Parliament building housed the justice ministry before opening as a museum in 1962, showcasing turning points in Greek history from the Byzantine rule to the build up to the Wars of Independence in the 1820s and the disastrous Asia Minor Campaign in 1919.
Weaponry, colorful folk costumes, decorative arts, war medals and statuary are exhibited in a chronological display through a suite of rooms spinning out from the original parliamentary chamber, which is in itself a highlight of the museum.
Located at 13 Stadiou Street in Athens, the museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission costs €3 for adults. Metro lines 2 and 3 can be taken to Syntagma Square.