The National Garden of Athens

national-gardenThe area of ​​the National Garden of Athens, as well as the wider area between the hills of Lycabettus and Ardittos, has always been a green area which also had irrigation water from the Peisistration and later from the Hadrian’s Aqueduct. The history of the Garden goes back many years, to antiquity, when it was a private garden, a gift from Demetrius Falireas to his teacher philosopher and botanist Theophrastus. It is said that around 600 BC. In this area, which was part of the riverside area of ​​Ilissos, known by the place name ‘Gardens’, was the sacred grove of the Lyceum, dedicated to Apollo.

The Garden, with a total area of ​​154,000m², began to take its current form during the reign of Otto (1832 – 1862) and in particular was exclusively the work of Queen Amalia, known for her love for the land and her effort to creates beautiful green spaces in Athens, influenced by the tradition in its homeland with gardens and large parks.
Parts of columns near the lake located near the entrance on Vasilissis Sofias Avenue. In the background, the small lake
Her vision was to create the first scientific and botanical garden in Greece and she spent endless hours a day overseeing its construction, transportation and planting of plants, often sitting on a rock, in the southeastern part of the Garden, about 6 feet high. meters, known as the rock of Amalia.

national garden of athensThe area of ​​the Garden was demarcated in 1836 by the Bavarian architect Friedrich Gertner who built the palaces of the royal couple. About 500 acres in the east of the city were seized and many property expropriations were made with a compensation price of initially 20 and later 40 minutes per square meter. The responsibility of the Garden was initially assigned to the agronomist Smarat, whom Amalia called from Munich, and he had as his assistant the agronomist Frederick Smith.

Also in the Garden are some very small buildings, such as the former office of the French gardener Baro, built in 1848 and now the building of the Children’s Library, which was founded in 1984, the Botanical Museum, former royal pavilion (in Ziller design), the nursery, the greenhouse, the administration offices as well as the cellar,a cooling chamber of the Palaces that has now been converted into the public toilets of the Garden. Until recently, the picturesque Garden Cafe was operating, which was located at the entrance on Herod Atticus, next to the Barracks of the Evzoni of the Presidential Guard.