National Historic Museum

National Historic Museum

National Historical Museum from Athens: A Journey Through Modern Greek History

Nestled in the heart of Athens, the National Historical Museum is a beacon of Greece’s rich historical tapestry. Located in the venerable Old Parliament Building on Stadiou Street, Kolokotronis Square, the museum offers an immersive journey through the pivotal moments that have shaped Modern Greece. From the period of Ottoman and Latin rule to the Greek War of Independence and beyond, the museum chronicles the nation’s evolution through a diverse and meticulously curated collection.

A Glimpse into the Museum’s Rich History

The National Historical Museum was established by the Historical and Ethnological Society of Greece in 1884. The Society made its public debut two years later with the “Exhibition of Memorials of the Sacred Struggle,” a showcase of artifacts from the Greek War of Independence. These items were generously donated by the families of the revolutionaries and various governmental bodies, forming the cornerstone of the museum’s collection.

Initially housed in the Athens Polytechnic, the museum’s collection was carefully hidden during World War II to protect it from potential damage. Post-war efforts focused on finding a permanent home for the collection, culminating in its relocation to the Old Parliament Building in 1960. This historic edifice has since been the museum’s permanent residence, providing a fitting backdrop for its extensive exhibits.

The Permanent Exhibition: A Walk Through Greek History

The National Historical Museum’s permanent exhibition offers a comprehensive narrative of Hellenic history from the fall of Constantinople in 1453 to the Greek-Italian War of 1940-1941. Visitors can explore a rich array of artifacts, including:

  • Paintings and Engravings: Visual representations of key historical moments and figures.
  • Flags and Weapons: Symbols of the national liberation struggles.
  • Personal Items: Belongings of historical figures that provide personal insights into Greece’s past.
  • Documents and Photographs: Primary sources that offer a glimpse into historical events.
  • Utensils and Tools: Everyday items that depict the lifestyle and culture of different periods.
  • Traditional Costumes and Modern Greek Craftsmanship: Textile and craftwork that highlight the evolution of Greek artistry.

The Hydra Annexes: Expanding the Museum’s Reach

The National Historical Museum extends its presence beyond Athens through its annexes on Hydra Island. These include:

  • Lazaros Koundouriotis Historic Residence: Donated by Pantelis Koundouriotis in 1979, this mansion became part of the museum in 2001. It serves as a major local attraction, offering insights into the life of the notable Koundouriotis family and the history of Hydra.

  • Tetsis Home & Workshop: In 2007, renowned painter Panagiotis Tetsis donated his grandparents’ home on Hydra to the Historical and Ethnological Society of Greece. The house, which includes his studio and artworks, is open to visitors by arrangement with the Lazaros Koundouriotis Historic Mansion.

The Historical and Ethnological Society of Greece

Founded in 1882 during a period of economic and social progress, the Historical and Ethnological Society of Greece aimed to preserve and promote the relics of Modern Greek history. The Society’s founding members were distinguished scholars and scientists who immediately set about establishing the museum, archive, and library. Since 1883, the Society has published the Bulletin of the Historical and Ethnological Society of Greece, featuring scholarly articles on history and ethnography.

Plan Your Visit

Operating Hours:

  • Monday – Friday: 09:00 – 16:00
  • Closed on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.

Admission Fees:

  • General Admission: €2
  • Children and Youth (6-18 years): €1
  • Free Admission for:
    • Members of the University Community of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
    • Children and youth up to 25 years from EU member states (with ID or passport)
    • Children up to 5 years from non-EU countries
    • Holders of an unemployment card

Contact Information

Address: Stadiou Street (Kolokotronis Square), Athens
Telephone: +30 210 3689500 – 10
Website: National Historical Museum
Facebook: National Historical Museum
Instagram: historymuseum_uoa

For more information about educational programs and tours, contact +30 210 3689502-6.


The National Historical Museum is more than just a repository of artifacts; it is a vibrant narrative of Greece’s modern history. Whether you are a history enthusiast, a scholar, or a curious visitor, the museum offers an enriching experience that connects you with Greece’s illustrious past. Explore the museum and discover the stories that have shaped a nation.

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