Its name literally means "Lamentation Square" (from Κλαυθμών, Klafthmon, weeping or lamentation) and the Ministry of the Interior is located by it.
In the 19th century, Greek public servants were not permanent, but could be hired or sacked on a minister's whim. Following their dismissal, public servants would lament their fate in the square.
Officially, it has over the years been known by several other names including:
- Aeschylus Square
- Nomismatokopeion (Mint) Square (the Greek coin mint was nearby)
- March 25 Square
- Democracy Square
- National Reconciliation Square