Milestones in the History of NTUA
1836: The Founding
NTUA was established by Royal Decree in 1836, a few years after Greece gained its independence. It was then named the "Royal School of Arts", a part-time vocational school (Sundays and Holidays only) with the purpose of training craftsmen, builders and master craftsmen. In 1840 due to its increasing popularity and the changing socio-economic conditions in the new state, it was upgraded to a daily Technical School, housed in its own building in Pireos Str.
1843: The Restructuring
In 1843 the School of Arts underwent its first major restructuring. Three departments were created: The part-time vocational school, the daily school and the Higher School of Fine Arts. It was then renamed as the "School of Industrial and Fine Arts". The word "arts" was used for fine arts as well as engineering. This created a tradition as NTUA today includes a Department of Architecture and maintains close links with the School of Fine Arts, which has in the meantime become a separate independent establishment.
1873: The Historical Campus
The School of Industrial and Fine Arts rapidly evolved towards a major higher education institution, a Technical University with a large number of students and a rich curriculum in scientific and professional courses. In 1873 it moved to its new "suburban campus" in Patission street (then in the outskirts of the capital) and was renamed (unofficially) as "Ethnicon Metsovion Polytechnion" after the birthplace of its benefactors that financed the construction of this historical campus. 1887: The Schools
The institution was partitioned into three schools of technical orientation (the schools of Structural Engineering, Architecture and Mechanical Engineering), paving the way for its growth and the establishment of its leading role in the technical and economic progress of Greece during the industrial revolution. It continued functioning with this form until 1914 when new schools were created and the officially now named "Ethnicon Metsovion Polytechnion" went under the supervision of the Ministry of Public Works, a reflection of its close ties with the techno-economic growth of the Greek state (in a later stage NTUA joined the other universities under the supervision of the Ministry of Education). 1917: The Present Form
NTUA took its present form in 1917 by special law that organized it into the Higher Schools of Civil Engineers, Mechanical & Electrical Engineers, Chemical Engineers, Surveying Engineers and Architecture. Up to the 1950s, NTUA was the only University in Greece offering degrees in engineering. Since then, Engineering Schools have been set up at the Universities of Thessaloniki, Patras and Thraki, and another Technical University was established at Chania in Crete. 1923: Technical Chamber of Greece
The NTUA alumni form the core of the Technical Chamber of Greece, a very powerful professional organization that serves as the official technical advisor of the State and is responsible for awarding professional licences to all practicing engineers in Greece. Between its foundation in 1923 and 1963, the Technical Chamber of Greece had 7,800 members, while by the end of the 1980s the number of professional members reached approximately 49,000.
Contribution in History of Modern Greece
NTUA students were in the front line of popular struggles, with highlights the National Resistance under the German occupation (1941-44) and the more recent struggle against the Colonels' dictatorship (1967-74).
During the period of the National Resistance, the Student Movement was powerful and well-organized. Shortly after the occupation of Greece by German troops in April, 1941, the Resistance movement began to organize everywhere - in the towns and villages, factories and universities. Within a few months the Resistance Movement was in operation within the confines of NTUA, which in addition to its function as an academic institution, became one of the most active resistance centers.
After a delay of forty years on the 16th of November 1984 NTUA paid tribute to the National Resistance Movement by erecting a simple commemorative column bearing the names of the 18 students who fell in the struggle for liberation. In 1985, a commemorative publication, entitled ``The NTUA [and its part] in the National Resistance Movements 1941-44'', was issued.
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 military police and were tortured for months in military prisons.
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.