The National Technical University is known not only thanks to its architectural merits, but also because of its historical and architectural significance.
Modern and Contemporary era (1821 - )
1852 Nikolaos Stournaris, a benefactor from the small provincial town of Metsovo, had donated 500,000 GDR for the construction of the Technical University. Georgios Averof –another Metsovo originated benefactor – in turn donated a substantial amount for the same purpose setting the term the University to be named after his home town.
1862 Beginning of construction.
1920 Between 1920 and 1940, Gkinis building was built.
1950 The Bouboulinas wing was built (architect: Emmanuel Kriezis).
1973 Rebellion against the military junta (dictatorship).
Ottoman era (1453- 1821)
Byzantine era (331 AC- 1453)
Roman era (30 BC- 330 AC)
Hellenistic era (322- 31 BC)
Classical era (478-323 BC)
Archaic era (800-479 BC)
Geometric era (-1100- 800 BC)
Prehistory (-1100 BC)
What I can see
The National Technical University of Athens is one of the best established universities of the country and of exceptional importance not only thanks to its educational merits but also because of its historical and architectural significance. The architectural designs bring the signature of Lyssandros Kaftanzoglou. At the suggestion of Hansen, the columns in the collonades were built in a Doric order. Two monumental stairs lead to the propylon, which mimics the north wing of the Erechtheion. The core of the Averof building is the central atrium, around which collonades with Doric columns and halls are arranged. Kaftanzoglou made significant architectural and aesthetic changes: the wings are a “rare example of freedom”, as Biris (1966) notes, although the doric order is strict, while the portico dimensions were also changed, in order to be proportional to the wings. He also tried to introduce curves, to Averof building, similar to those of the Parthenon. An aesthetic mistake is the portico repetition in the inner façade. The vast scale bronze sculpture by the main entrance breached by the tanks, representing a man’s head on the ground, reminds us of the heroic students fell in November 17th 1973, during the military repression of the riots against the then dictatorship regime.
What I can't see
Kaftanzoglou originally designed 6 separate buildings. Their composition was neoclassical, with the porticos and the upper floor in Ionic and Corinthian orders respectively. This design was not implemented because of political instability, while the construction work had already begun. The historical significance of National Technical University, however, is connected with the military junta. Having been shocked by a mutiny from the side of the Greek Navy and following the severe crackdown of several students’ movements (due to compulsory conscription of dissident students), in November 14th 1973, a wrong tip at the Law School of the University of Athens, regarding street conflicts around the Technical University, brought there 300 students. Conflicts with gathered police forces led to a noticeable coiling of people at the nearby areas and eventually the complex’s sit-in by the protesters. In November 16th 1973, the first casualties were recorded and at the dawn of the November 17th the army was ordered to interfere and tanks forced their way into the complex’s front yard. Certain students were shot during their panic-stricken egression, while others found shelter inside neighbouring buildings. The ascertained casualties were 24 dead people. The Polytechnic uprising led to regime’s reshuffling and lurching and it totally collapsed a few months later, when Turkiye invaded Cyprus.
The invasion of the tank:
- Address: 42 Patision/ 28is Oktovriou St.
- Τηλέφωνο: +30 210 7721000
- Website: http://www.ntua.gr/
National Technical University of Athens, http://www.ntua.gr/
Last visit 4/12/2012
Zivas D.A.., (2012), Αρχιτεκτονικός Οδηγός Αθηνών, [Architectural Guide of Athens], Cultural Foundation of Pireos Group
Kallivretakis L., (2004), Πολυτεχνείο ’73: Το ζήτημα των θυμάτων: Νεκροί και τραυματίες, [Polytechnic ’73: The victims’ issue: Deads and injured], ΕΙΕ, Filippoti
Kouloglou S., (2002), Ρεπορτάζ χωρίς σύνορα: αφιέρωμα στο Πολυτεχνείο, [Report without boarders: tribute to Polytechnic], Audiovisual material, ΕRΤ
Mantoglou S., (1992), Μελέτη μιας μειονότητας: η εξέγερση του Πολυτεχνίου, Νοέμβρης 1973, [The study of a minority: the Polytechnic uprising, November 1973], Ph.D., Panteion University, Department of Psychology
Mitropoulou K., (1974), Το χρονικό τριών ημερών: σχολή Πολυτεχνείου, [The chronicles of three days: school of Polytechnic], 5th ed, Athens: Boukoumanis
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
Papazoglou M., (1975), Φοιτητικό Κίνημα και Δικτατορία, [Students Movement and Dictatorship], Athens: Epikerotita
Collective work, (1996), Athenian Classicism, Municipality of Athens
Technical Chamber of Greece, (2000), Athens, London, Paris, TCG,
Last visit 30/3/2021
Open House Athens, (2016), Κτίριο Αβέρωφ, [Averof Building], ΟΗΑ