Founded in 1837, almost along with the modern Greek state, NTUA is the oldest Technical University in Greece. Initially established by a royal decree "on architectural education" it was a technical school operating on Sundays and holidays which offered instruction to those desiring to master in architecture. Though, at a remote location it soon attracted many students. Its popularity lead to the extension of courses and by spring 1840 to the operation of a regular day school along with the Sundays counterpart. It was then moved to its own building on Piraeus street. The joint efforts of students and instructors contributed to a continuous growth and to revising standards.



Early Reforms

The school quickly introduced reforms to make it better able to respond to the domestic needs of reconstruction and industrial development. Studies reached the three years, enriched with new disciplines, and the administration was taken over by the Committee for the Encouragement of National Industry. 


Installation (1871) to the Historical "Polytechnion"

The urgent needs for infrastructure to support the ambitious plans of the school led to the 1871 transfer to new buildings on the Patission Street Complex. Their construction was first supported by Nikolaos Stournaris. In Greek,  NTUA  is  called "Ethnicon  M etsovion  Polytechnion".  It  was  named "Metsovion" to honor the donors and benefactors Nikolaos Stournaris, Eleni Tositsa, Michail Tositsas and Georgios Averof, all from Metsovo, a small town in the region of Epirus.



Towards Today's Structure and Organisation

After the introduction of a four-year degree course for civil and mechanical engineering, in 1887, the NTUA was able to announce that it "educates high level engineers for the public service, industry and construction" as competent as "graduates from the well–known engineering schools of Western Europe". The final major reform of the organisation and administration of NTUA took place in 1917. The "Ethnicon M etsovion Politechnion" acquired five high level engineering schools: Civil, M echanical & Electrical, Architecture, Chemical and Surveying. Many subsequent changes since 1917, have led to its current form: a prestigious University of Science and Technology, with eight Engineering Schools and a ninth School of Applied Mathematical and Physical Sciences.

"Polytechnion", November '73: A Symbol of Democracy

The recent struggles against the military dictatorship of 1967-74 escalated with the student gathering at the NTUA Patission Campus on the 14th of February, 1973, followed by an unprecedented brutal attack by the police inside the campus and the arrest of several students. This was followed by demonstrations, the occupation of the Law School of the University of Athens on 23rd February, and
again on 20th March. Each of these demonstrations was met by force. The protest culminated in the greatest blow against the Junta, the Polytechnion (NTUA) Uprising in November, 1973. 

Events began on Wednesday, 14th November, and ended on November 17th 1973 with the unprovoked intervention of army tanks and the attack by the army and police against those besieged inside the NTUA Campus and the demonstrating supporters outside in Patission Str. These few days saw the growth of an impressive popular uprising centered at NTUA. The people of Greece and the
country's youth all rallied in support of the students, united around the ideals: Freedom, Democracy, Independence, Education and Social Progress. The toll of the Polytechnion uprising was tragic. Several demonstrators were killed; many more were arrested by the militar y police and were tortured for months in militaryprisons. 

The Junta fell a few months later and Polytechnion is being commemorated every year on November the 17th by the students, high school pupils, the NTUA Senate, the democratic authorities, political parties, the Greek Parliament and the people of Greece. 

The Polytechnion Uprising is an outstanding event in recent Greek history. NTUA honored the victims of the Uprising with a monument within its courtyard, opposite the gate which the tanks of the dictatorship demolished that night. The monument was placed alongside the column commemorating the National Resistance. The two memorials emphasize the continued struggle of the Greek people and the country's youth over the years.


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