Thursday, 26 May 2011

Greek Architecture: La Fondation Hellenique in Paris

Last weekend we watched a documentary on TV about La Fondation Hellénique, the Greek Student Union at the International University Campus of the University of Paris. 
I had heard a lot about La Fondation through a friend who had lived in Paris in the 1970s and 1980s and had a lot of stories to tell about the works and days of the Greek students there, stories that I did not like at all.

I have a certain idea about the way a Greek person should behave, knowing that he or she carries in him the lives of such great people from Leonidas to Plato, and the way some Greek students behaved even in my times as a student did not make me proud.

Anyhow, I love the architecture of this building and seeing its details, especially after the restauration works funded by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.
 I felt so much for its founders, wanting to offer a shelter for Greek students often of modest means, who wanted to further their education.

The Greek Foundation was created on the initiative of Nikolaos Politis, ambassador of Greece in Paris. The building was designed by the Greek architect Nikolaos Zahos.
It was financed by a collection of Greeks together with the financial support provided by the Greeks of Diaspora. The remainder was provided by the Greek government. Inaugurated on December 23, 1932, it was given to the University of Paris for lodging Greek students persuing higher education.

Other nations also have their lodgings:

Sweden, 1931

Denmark, 1932

U.S.A. 1930

Japan, 1929

I love the way every building is honouring the architectural styles of every nation.
This is true cultural diversity.

As for the Greek building, there is something noble, something peaceful about Greek architecture, something that uplifts my soul from the ordinary, something almost divine.
For more information visit the Fondation Hellénique website and The Stavros Niarchos Foundation.

love, Irene

1 comment:

demie said...

Beautiful post Irene! Bravo : )

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