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The National Garden of AthensThe National Garden

Behind the parliament you will find the 15,5 hectares big and magnificent National Garden This beautiful park used to be the garden of the Royal Palace created by Queen Amalia and her German gardener Schmidt in 1839. It is now owned by the City of Athens.

The garden has become public and it is open all day long. It is one of the places in Athens where one can find an agreeable retreat with shade, flowers and the song of the nightingales. The garden also encloses some ancient ruins, tambours and Corinthian capitals of columns, mosaics. etc. On the south-east there are the busts of Capodistrias, first governor of Greece and of the great philhellene Eynard. On the south side there are the busts of the celebrated Greek poets D. Solomos and Aristotelis Valaoritis.Many cats have the National Garden as their home

You can spend hours wandering around and if you are a cat lover, you will. There are two duck ponds, a children's playground, a small zoo and a cafe (called O Kypos) near the Irodou Atikou street where you can get a nice frapé, an ouzo and mezedes and enjoy the afternoon while you feed your leftovers to the ducks who come to your table begging for food.

The Royal Palace on Vas. Georgiou II Street

The garden is irrigated by a channel initially laid by the tyrant Peisistratos as an aquaduct in ancient times. Its serpentine walks boast peacocks and waterfowl. The public toilet you will see used to be the cold storage facility of Queen Amalias larder.

Behind the parliament building, but inaccessible for security reasons, are the remains of Roman baths and remnants of Hadrian’s city wall. Behind the National Garden are the Royal Palace (Vas. Georgiou II Street) and the Presidential Residence (Irodou Attikou Street).

Opening hours Opening hours and admission
Location map Amalias Avenue
Nearest metro staton Acropoli or Syntagma
Photo gallery National Garden Photos

The Zappeion The Zappeion

The Zappeion Garden, a wooded space crisscrossed by broad alleys, actually is a continuation of the National Garden. The Zappeion structure, built in 1874-78 by Hemophilia von Hansen, was funded by the Greco-Rumanian cousins Zappas as an exhibition hall. It was remodeled in 1959-60.

There is a nice marble statue of Pan to the left of the entrance. In the center is a statue of Varvakis, founder of a high school. There are various events connected with worldwide trade that take place from time to time within and around the Zappeion. It also is used for international conferences. Because of these events and conferences, the Zappeion may not always be open for a visit. Even more, when a meeting of the European heads of State takes place in the Zappeion, you will have a hard time even getting close.

The greenery around the Zappeion, known as Parilissia, was planted in 1886 and took its name from the Illissos river. The former riverbed now is the Vassileos Konstantinou Avenue. The 35-acre Zappeion Garden is a favorite place for Athenians to walk in. Together with the nearby National Garden, it represents the two green belts in Athens.

Greece crowning Lord ByronThe Zappeion Garden is adorned with interesting sculptures. Among them is the statue of Ioannis Varvakis, a benefactor from Epirus, made by Leonidas Drossis (1870-86). Other sculptures are the Woodcutter (1872-75), the Harvester (1870) and the Fisherman (1874) by Dimitrios Filippotis.

On the corner of Amalias Avenue and Olgas Avenue is a statue made by the French artists Henri-Michel Chapu and Alexandre Laguière showing Greece crowning the poet Lord Byron. Opposite the Panathinaic Stadium (Kalimarmaro) is the statue of the Freedom Fighter of the 1821 War for Independence. The statue shows Georgios Karaiskakis on horseback. It is made by Michalis Tombros. Close to it is the statue of the Discus Thrower (Diskovolos) by Konstantinos Dimitriadis.

Opening hours Opening hours and admission
Location map Amalias Avenue

Nearest metro station Acropoli Top


    The National Garden
    The Zappeion

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