1833 |  1843 |  1863 |  1864 |  1875 |  1881 |  1911 |  1912-14 |  1919 |  1927 |  1935 |  1947

The following texts consists of selective parts of the Guide to the National Historical Museum

The National Historical Museum belongs to the Historical and Ethnological Society of Greece, which was founded in 1882 with the purpose of seeking out, collecting and preserving objects and written evidence which help to shed light on the history of Modern Greece.

'The statue of Th. Kolokotronis

A large number of the historical objects which the Society has collected since its foundation are on permanent display in the Museum. These exhibits allow us to trace, in a manner which is easy to follow, the course of the history of the Greek people from the Fall of Constantinople (1453) to the Greek-Italian War.

Old Parliament Building

Museum Floor Plan

Room C

In the next rooms (C-F), we can pursue the Greek revolution from its declaration, in 1821, until the sea battle of Navarino, in 1827. A many-sided vision of the struggle for independence is offered to the visitor through oil portraits of the fighters of 1821 from the Greek mainland and the islands, as well as of philellenes, which are works by renowned Greek painters, fighters' arms, elements of their uniforms, personal objects, paintings and engravings depicting battles and sea battles.

In the third room, there are memorabilia belonging to the powerful military forces of the Greek nation, the famous armatoloi (military chiefs) and the heroic people of Souli, in Epirus, who, during the times of slavery, kept the idea of independence alive. When the revolution was declared, these brave men took the whole weight of the fight on the mainland on their shoulders and became the glorious heroes and fighters of 1821. Characteristic items in display are the weaponry belonging to members of the Zervas' and Tzavellas' families, extraordinary specimens of the metallurgy in Epirus, together with personal objects of General Makrigiannis.

The room also hosts eight paintings on wood, the only ones extant from the total of 24 made "according to the understanding of and inspired by" General Makrigiannis, which depict battles and sea battles of the struggle. The paintings are by Dimitrios Zografos in an old byzantine technique. A similar series of compositions referring to the struggle in a different spirit and style were published in colour lithographs by Alexander Isaias (teacher in one of the first schools of the newly-established Greek state). In this room, too, there are banners of the revolution, coming from various areas (the Peloponnese, Cyprus, etc.).

The personal seal of Odysseus Androutsos, the ring of Theodoros Kolokotronis, and various personal objects of well-known fighters and political figures comprise another category of memorabilia and miniatures of the period. The heroic death of Markos Botsaris in the field of battle with the Turks in 1823, inspired Athanasios Iatridis to create four ink drawings on the subject. Together with them is displayed the enemy lead shot that shot the hero on the forehead, part of his turban, as well as an autograph, written in 1803 on the wooden case of a religious book. Beside these items, there is a mould for lead shots and a measure for gunpowder, products of the legendary gunpowder mills of the revolution.

The strong link between the various communities under Turkish rule is underlined by memorabilia such as the communal seals of Psara and of Hydra. Many of these bear the characteristic inscription "Seal of Freedom", as do the ones from Athens and Magnesia, reminding us of the administrative organisation of Greeks during the first years of the revolution.