The Zappeion Exhibition Hall, also known as the Athens Conference Hall, is a building located in the National Gardens of Athens, Greece. It was built in the late 19th century and was named after Evangelos Zappas, a wealthy Greek philanthropist who funded the restoration of the ancient Olympic Games. The Zappeion was built on the site of an earlier building, the garden house of the Duchess of Plaisance, which was demolished to make way for the new structure.
The Zappeion was designed by Danish architect Theophil Hansen and was completed in 1888 and it was the first building in Greece to be constructed entirely of steel, which was imported from Germany.
It was originally built to host the events of the first modern Olympic Games in 1896, including fencing, wrestling, and weightlifting. Since then, it has served various purposes, including as a venue for conferences, exhibitions, and other cultural events. In addition to hosting events during the first modern Olympic Games in 1896, the Zappeion was also used as the official press center for the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.
The Zappeion is considered to be one of the most important examples of neoclassical architecture in Athens. Its façade features a central portico with six Corinthian columns, and its interior is decorated with murals and sculptures depicting Greek history and mythology. The building has undergone several renovations and restorations over the years, including a major renovation in the 1980s to prepare it for hosting the European Union summit in 1983.
In addition, starting in 1936 and for the next 40 years, it hosted the country’s first state radio station. In 1940 it was converted into a hospital; the following year it was commandeered by the German occupation army after which it became a storehouse and later a barracks (1944). It was even bombed during the same year.
After the war, the possibility was discussed of demolishing it. Fortunately, in 1960, general repairs were carried out under the supervision of architects A. Ploumistos and F. Panagiotopoulos. The most recent renovation was carried out in connection with the Olympic Games of 2004 which were held in Athens.
The Zappeion Exhibition Hall has witnessed the history of Athens for the past 120 years. It has been a key site for some of the nation’s most significant moments, and has always been integrally linked to the Olympic Movement. Even though its uses were varied, it has become a landmark in the Greek capital, thus fulfilling the donor’s initial wishes. The Zappeion has been used for a wide variety of events over the years, including art exhibitions, fashion shows, concerts, and even a performance by the Rolling Stones in 1967.
Today, the Zappeion remains a popular venue for conferences and events, as well as a popular tourist attraction in Athens. It is located in the heart of the city and is surrounded by the National Gardens, making it a peaceful and scenic retreat in the bustling urban center.
Athens is the capital and largest city of Greece but for many considered as the historical capital of Europe. Located in the Attica region, Athens is one of the world’s oldest cities, with its recorded history spanning over 3,400 years, the birthplace of democracy, arts, science and philosophy of western civilization and the home of Plato, Socrates, Pericles, Euripides, Sophocles and Aeschylus. Today, under the shadow of Parthenon, the contemporary urban scenery of the sprawling city reflects its exciting history, its multi- cultural modern personality as well as the infrastructure and facilities.
The perfect Mediterranean climate with the legendary greek sunlight, the unique combination of glorious history with modern, urban innovation, the coexistence of great culture with astonishing natural beauty, the high standard hotel accommodation, modern means of transportation such as the cutting edge modern metro, the vibrant rhythm of life, the wide choice of opportunities for shopping, dining and night life and of course the warmth of the Athenians people feature Athens as the ideal all year round city break destination.
Nearby RawMat2023 conference location, participants may discover the heart of the city with numerous sites of interests such as:
The Acropolis, or Sacred Rock, is synonymous with Athens. It is home to the Parthenon and several other ancient Greek monuments built under Pericles in 5 BC by what was then the most advanced civilization in the world.
Built during the 1990s and open since 2009, the modern Acropolis Museum was commissioned as the existing museum could no longer house the growing volume of archaeological treasures discovered on the site. Its exhibits cover the period from the Greek Bronze Age to Roman and Byzantine Greece.
The National Archaeological Museum is one of the best in the world, housing artifacts from pre-history to late Antiquity with its Cycladic, Mycenaean and Egyptian collections. Unsurprisingly, it has best collection from Ancient Greece anywhere in the world.
Syntagma (Constitution) Square is the hub of Athens, close to many sights and transport links.
The Panathenaic Stadium, also known as the Kallimármaro (meaning the “beautifully marbled”), is a multi-purpose stadium used for several events and athletics in Athens. The Stadium hosted the first modern Olympic Games in 1896. Reconstructed from the remains of an ancient Greek stadium, the Panathenaic is the only stadium in the world built entirely by marble and is one of the oldest in the world.
Impressive and fully renovated the National Gallery of Greece opened its doors again in March 2021 to celebrate the occasion of the 200th anniversary from the beginning of the Greek Revolution. Here visitors will find a treasury of modern Greek art, from the post-Byzantine years to the present day: 20,000 works of painting, sculpture, engravings, magnificent collections proving that Greek Arts in the 19th century, followed the movements of the European avant-garde.
Monastiraki counts as the most visited area of Athens, for both Greeks and tourists. It is one of the most picturesque areas of Athens, neighboring and connected to Plaka. Its famous flea market, a paradise for collectors, you can find anything from Greek souvenirs and Greek art shops, antiques, carpets, old books, old stamps and old books, you can even find clothing and helmets from the second world war! The best thing about going to Monastiraki is the cafes which on sunny weekends is the best place to enjoy a drink or a coffee or an ouzo while looking at the view of the Acropolis, the Parthenon, and the Agora.