kolokotroni square

Athens Kolokotronis Square

Near the corner of Stadiou and Kolokotroni street, in front of the Old Parliament, is the small, polygonal Kolokotronis Square (Plateia Kolokotroni). Dominating the space, on a tall pedestal, is a life size brass monumental equestrian statue of the War of Independence hero and kleftis leader (irregular fighter/rebel against the Ottomans) Theodoros Kolokotronis. Called the Old Man off the Morea, his leadership was decisive in the eventual success of the war. This is a copy (1904) of a statue in Nafplion in the eastern Argolid of the Peloponnese, by the Greek sculptor Lazaros Sochos (1852-1911). Next to the middle of the east side of the Old Parliament, on a tall base with a winged Eros looking upward, is a statue of the Greek Prime Minister (between 1882 and 1895) Charilaos Trikoupis (1832-1896) marble, created by the Greek sculptor Tomas Thermopolis. In 1875 Trikoupis forced King George I to accept as a constitutional principle the simple but then radical idea (for the king, at least) that the political party with the most members in the Parliament (Vouli) would form the ruling government. He strove as Prime Minister to modernize Greece, with economic reforms, extensive public works projects (including the cutting of the Corinth Canal 1882-1893). He strengthened the army and the navy, improved communications networks and many other infrastructures. He actually was modern Greece's first great statesman.