Over a century of history

Back in 1880, when the area was out in the countryside, a decision was made to build a military academy for non-commissioned officers. The first buildings (which still remain standing) were constructed in the French style of military architecture, with battlements and neo-Gothic elements. According to a report by the architecture school at the National Technical University of November 14, 2002, four wings are characterized by a neo-Romantic style that was rare in 19th century Athenian architecture, with bare-stone construction and highlighting of facades with elements of the early Tudor style. The military hospital treated soldiers wounded from the Balkan wars, the Asia Minor campaign and World War II. The buildings were used as a hospital until 1971, when the «401,» as it became known in 1946, was transferred to its new premises near Mesogeion Avenue and the former site came under the ownership of the Church of Greece. Until recently, it was used to house the Church’s high school. In 1989, the Church began to express interest in constructing on the site. The original plans called for a Synod Hall, although at the same time action was being taken to have the site listed. A demolition permit, valid for six months, was issued in 1993 but never enacted. In 2001, however, the Church made known its plans to build a hotel (after the State lifted a ban on construction of new hotels in Athens), obtaining the approval of the National Tourist Organization of Greece (order No. 516815/22.5.2001), although this is not permitted under the general town plan of the municipality of Athens. This, however, is something that the Church does not accept.