The Zappeion Exhibition Hall, one of the outstanding examples of late Athenian classicism, is one of the archetypes of Greek public architecture.
The 1821 Greek War of Independence, which lasted almost eight years, led to the creation of the modern, independent state of Greece. Its Christian-Orthodox inhabitants strove to separate themselves from over 400 years of occupation by the Ottoman Empire and to build on elements of language and history harking back to Ancient Greece.
In 1869, the Greek Parliament allocated 80,000 square meters (860,000 sq. ft.) of public land between the Palace Gardens and the ancient Temple of Olympian Zeus, and also passed a law on 30 November 1869, “for the building works of the Olympic Games”, as the Zappeion was the first building to be erected specifically for the revival of the Olympic Games in the modern world.
On 20 October 1888, the Zappeion opened.