ATHENS REVIVAL: THE NEW FACE OF OMONOIA SQUARE
In 1846, the space of today’s Omonoia Square was allocated, and construction began. It first took the name “Palace Square” and then “Otto Square” after the first King of Greece. The square was renamed Omonoia Square in 1862. The square was illuminated with gas lamps in 1877. In 1895, the Athens-Piraeus underground train station was built; ever since that time, Omonoia Square has been considered the center of the capital city. The Square changed its shape and became circular in 1930, when florists’ kiosks were also added, and the square took on a commercial character. It also became the meeting point for visitors from the provinces during that era. In 1954, an underground space was excavated under the Square to house shops and banks, while the first escalators were also put in use there. The first major reconstruction of the famed square took place in the 1960s, seeing it reduced in size and a fountain placed at its center. In the year 1988, the massive glass sculpture “Dromeas”, the work of sculptor Costas Varotsos, was installed, only to be moved opposite the Athens Hilton in 1992 when work on the Athens metro began. The latest reconstruction of Omonoia Square, on the occasion of the Athens Olympic Games, was completed in 2004.
Today, the new face of a historical square
The renovated Omonoia Square covers an area of 4,500 square meters and includes an imposing fountain! The revamped Omonoia Square is illuminated by LED lighting fixtures and is decorated with an array of plants and new shade features. A new type of pavement is also laid down there. In an important break from the past, all the new features and materials are friendly to the environment. With the restoration of the square and the renovation and repurposing of surrounding buildings, municipal authorities aim at reviving the entire area. Mayor Bakoyannis has stated numerous times that he believes the new Omonoia Square will soon be back to its former glory.