ATHENS APART FROM PARTHENON

TOMB OF THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER

ATTICA ZOOLOGICAL PARK

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (Greek: Μνημείο του Αγνώστου Στρατιώτη, romanized: Mnimío tou Agnóstou Stratióti) is a war memorial located in Syntagma Square in Athens, in front of the Old Royal Palace. It is a cenotaph dedicated to the Greek soldiers killed during war. It was sculpted between 1930 and 1932 by sculptor Fokion Rok. The tomb is guarded by the Evzones of the Presidential Guard.



The decision to build a monument was taken by army general and “constitutional dictator” Theodoros Pangalos. In his capacity as Army Minister, an advertisement was placed in the Espera newspaper, requesting a "submission for a study of the construction of a tomb of the Unknown Soldier, in front of the Old Royal Palace, suitable for this purpose". On 9 October 1926, the Army Ministry approved and granted by majority the study made by architect Emmanuel Lazaridis.

The location of the monument at the Old Palace was suggested both by the architect himself and by Pangalos, who wish for the Army Ministry to be housed in the building. However in 1929, after fervent reaction and continuous meetings, Eleftherios Venizelos, setting aside his disagreements with Pangalos, decided that the best location would be the original one in Syntagma Square, reasoning that the Monument ought to be in the city centre, much like the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.



The construction committee had given all responsibility for the construction to Lazaridis. Initially, he had worked with sculptor Thomas Thomopoulos who had proposed as a central sculpture a representation of the Gigantomachy with an angel (representing Greece) lovingly receiving the dead soldier. Despite Lazaridis initially agreeing to this design, Thomopoulos's sculpture was never built due to lack of funds. Click for complete WIKI...

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