The central Syntagma Square
The central Syntagma Square
The Syntagma Square is bordered by Vassileos Georgiou A' Street to the north, Othonos Street to the south, Filellinon Street to the west and Vasilissis Amalias Avenue to the east. The eastern side of the Square is higher than the western, and dominated by a set of marble steps leading to Vasilissis Amalias Avenue; beneath these lies the Syntagma Metro Station.
The stairs emerge below between a pair of outdoor cafes, and are a popular city-center gathering place. Syntagma Square also includes two green areas to the north and south, planted with shade trees, while in the center of the Square a large water fountain traditionally hosts the occasionally sighted Syntagma pigeons along with heat-tormented Athenians during the summer.
Syntagma Square is also the frequent site of political demonstrations. The Hellenic Parliament is immediately across Vasilissis Amalias Avenue to the east, and surrounded by the extensive National Garden, which is open to the public. Free wireless internet access at high speeds is also offered by the Municipality of Athens at the Square.
Every day at every full hour, the changing of the guard (Evzones) ceremony, performed by the Presidential Guard, is conducted in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on the area between the Square and the Hellenic Parliament. On Sundays and official holidays or on national holidays (25th March and 28th October), the ceremonial changing of the guard takes place with an army band and the majority of the 120 Evzones present at 11:00 a.m.
Syntagma Square is also a hub for many forms of public transportation in Athens; the Athens Metro and Athens Tram both stop here, and buses or trolley-buses are available to any point in the city. Travel between Syntagma Square and the Athens Airport (Eleftherios Venizelos) is available via special airport bus and metro lines.
The Syntagma Square is also located near many of Athens' oldest and most famous neighborhoods and tourist attractions. The neighborhoods of Acropolis, Plaka, Monastiraki, Psiri, Kolonaki and Omonoia Square are all within walking distance, and most of the famous sites of ancient Athens are nearby.
Furthermore, many of the cityʼs most elegant hotels are found encircling Sytagma – like the Hotel Grande Bretagne, which went through a major renovation and is as beautiful as ever. Syntagma was one of the squares that went through a face lift in light of the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. In August of 2004, it was given back to the people of Athens after about 50 trees were planted and marble benches were added.
The Municipality also gave the licenses for two cafés to operate where they once did during the 1960ʼs. The fountain was restored, and the element of water was enhanced by waterfalls that function as small oasis of refreshment. One would say that this is the best image that Syntagma could possibly portray for years now.