This historical Palace that saw so many brilliant days under the first kings of Greece was destroyed internally in 1910 by a great fire. Since then, notwithstanding some repairs, it remained in a ruinous state especially when they had the absurd idea to install there refuges! Lately the hellenic Government decided to install there the House of Parliament. On account of this unlucky decision, this historic palace has undergone radical changes, which altered its original plan. By these repairs the Museum of king George I, which was on the first story, has been removed from there, out of its natural place.
The Hellenic Parliament, also the Parliament of the Hellenes, is the Parliament of Greece, located in the Parliament House (Old Royal Palace), overlooking Syntagma Square in Athens, Greece.
It is a unicameral legislature of 300 members, elected for a four-year term. During 1844-1863 and 1927-1935 the parliament was bicameral with an upper house, the Senate and alower house, which retained the name Vouli. Several important Greek statesmen served as Speakers of the Hellenic Parliament. The List of Speakers of the Hellenic Parliamentcomprises all the Speakers from 1946 till today.
Although during the Greek Revolution a number of National Assemblies had been held, the first national parliament of the independent Greek state was established only in 1843, after the September 3rd Revolution, which forced King Otto to grant a constitution. In 1911, a revision of the constitution resulted in stronger human rights, the reinforcement of the Rule of Law and the modernization of institutions, among them the parliament. After seven years of military dictatorship, on 8 December 1974, a referendum was conducted to decide about the nature of the form of government. By a majority of 69.18%, the Greeks decided against a constitutional monarchy and for a parliamentary republic. As detailed in the following section, Members of Parliament are immune from criminal prosecution, arrest or detention while in office.
But even the place in front of this grand structure was not spared, for they constructed there the Tomb of the Unknown soldier (Agnostos Stratiotis). A less convenient and more inappropriate and discordant place for the noble idea of such a mausoleum could not have been chosen! Near the Palace, on the S., stretches the vast and magnificent Royal Garden, now called National, real green oasis in this deprived of trees Athens. This beautiful Garden is a creation of Queen Amelia and her German gardener Schmidt. This garden has become public and it is open all day long. It is one of the rare places in Athens, where one can find an agreable retreat with shade, flowers and the song of the nightingales. The garden encloses aslo some ancient ruins, tambours and Corinthian capitals of columns, mosaics. etc. On the S.E. the busts of Capodistria, first governor of Greece and of the great philhellene Eynard. From the S. side the bust of the celebrated greek poets D. Solomos, and Aristotelis Valaoritis.