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Hotel “Grande Bretagne”

When the Hotel "Grande Bretagne" was constructed it had two separate buildings, the first ones built on Syntagma Square.

  1. Modern and Contemporary era (1821 - )

    1842 Built.

    1856 Housed the French School until 1873.

    1874 The buildings were sold and converted to a hotel, with the name it has today.

    1940 Perhaps the hotel’s most important moment in history was when during the Greek-Italian war the Hellenic Army General Staff used its basement, issuing from there the famous announcement “The Italian forces attacked at 05.30 today the Greek parts of the Greek-Albanian borders. The Greek forces are fighting for our homeland.”

    1960 The original building was demolished.

  2. Ottoman era (1453- 1821)

  3. Byzantine era (331 AC- 1453)

  4. Roman era (30 BC- 330 AC)

  5. Hellenistic era (322- 31 BC)

  6. Classical era (478-323 BC)

  7. Archaic era (800-479 BC)

  8. Geometric era (-1100- 800 BC)

  9. Prehistory (-1100 BC)

What I can see

The “Grande Bretagne” hotel is one of the most luxurious and expensive hotels in Athens.

What I can't see

When it was constructed it had two separate buildings, the first ones built on Syntagma Square. Hansen’s building was classicist but it also brilliantly combined Renaissance elements. He decorated it with a score of elements to add a touch of emotion, clearly influenced by Charles Schinkel. The railings were built based on Viennese designs. King Otto, who had a say in the approval of the design because of its proximity to the palace, was extremely excited about Hansen’s plans. After management was transfer to the “Grande Bretagne” company, the hotel was expanded toward Panepistimiou Street, with different floor heights compared to the original building and incorporated poor imitations of Hansen’s main elements. When the original building was demolished, it was built again but this time as an expansion of the previous one. The result is inferior to the original design. The name “Grande Bretagne” was given after it became a hotel. Similar names were given to hotels during the same period, showing the Greeks’ desire to embrace the cultural and economic achievements of Western countries. 



Vatopoulos N., (1995), Ονομασίες ξενοδοχείων, [Hotel Names] in Παλαιά Ξενοδοχεία της Αθήνας, [Old Hotels of Athens], Epta Imeres, Kathimerini, p.p. 31

Yohalas T., Kafetzaki Τ., (2013), Αθήνα, Ιχνηλατώντας την πόλη με οδηγό την ιστορία και τη λογοτεχνία [Athens, Tracing thecity guided by history and literature], ESTIA Bookstore

Biris K. H. (1966), Αι Αθήναι από του 19ου εις τον 20ον αιώνα, [Athens from the 19th up to the 20th century], 5th edition 2005, Athens, Melissa