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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-10-20

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] National Garden of Athens to be designated 'historical landmark'

  • [01] National Garden of Athens to be designated 'historical landmark'

    A-MPA/An oasis of green in the heart of bustling downtown Athens, the National Gardens will soon be formally designated as a "historical landmark", following the Central Council of Newer Monuments' approval of a relevant recommendation.

    National Gardens board member Theodoros Bechrakis told ANA-MPA that the Gardens deserve the designation of "historical landmark" as it fulfills all the conditions, and is closely linked with the history of the Modern Greek state, as its evolution is a "record" of the historical events in modern Greece.

    Meanwhile, a study is currently underway by the National Metsovion Polytechnic for revamping the landscaping of the 250-acre Garden, which is slated to begin in the first quarter of 2011 and is budgeted at 7.5 million euros.

    Bechrakis said the revamping will mainly concern the Garden's infrastructures. He noted that although its "greenery" is in good condition, "there is also another aspect, that of its infrastructures and buildings, which belong to the previous century...those are what we want to improve to make them more functional".

    The project will be carried out in two stages. In the first stage, the City of Athens will tender a 2.9 million euros upgrade of the infrastructures, and also a study, budgeted at 370,000 euros, for the restoration of the Garden's zoological park, botanical museum, the area containing the famed Roman mosaic, and restoration of the Herod Atticus wall. The second stage concerns restoration of the Garden's flora and removal of damaged shrubbery.

    The densely planted National Garden of Athens is situated next to the Hellenic Parliament in Syntagma Square and is open to the public daily from dawn till dusk. The tranquil park serves as a botanical garden with native and rare subtropical trees and plants and the path crossing it divides it into 80 units of various shapes and sizes in the French baroque style and with strict geometric structure. The garden includes as well, many statues, a fish pond, a duck pond (popular with children of all ages), a small zoo with animals and birds, a botanical museum, toilet facilities, a children's library and a large playground for smaller children.

    The first plans of the garden were drawn up in 1836 by Freidrich von Gaertner, the architect of the Royal Palace. In 1839 the garden was redesigned by the Bavarian engineer Hoch, for Queen Amalia, to serve the palace and was called the Royal Garden. The landscaping started in 1839 with 15,000 plants brought from Genoa, as well as from the coastal area of Sounion and the island of Evia in Greece by a team led by the Bavarian horticulturalist Smarat. Later, the French horticulturalist Barrault from Constantinople (now Istanbul) completed the work. The cost of planting and maintaining this botanical garden was scandalous in the opinion of many contemporary Greeks. Over the years various storms and unusual cold spells have damaged or destroyed many of the plants and trees. Today there are approximately 7,000 trees and 40,000 plants. Before 1854 the gardens were closed to the public. Afterwards they were opened to the public when not in use by the then royalty.

    In 1927 it ceased to be a private royal garden and became a public park open to the public, and was renamed the National Garden.

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

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