The Gardens were originally called the Royal Gardens because they were built for Queen Amalia during the 1840's. The gardens are just to the east and south of the Parliament. Most of the initial plantings were from Italy, 18.000 species, and were brought by the new Greek Navy. Durlng later times modern sculptures have been placed around the gardens of known Greek authors. At the south end of the grounds is the Zappeion, built between 1874-88, which is a conference center. Next to it is a fine cafe in the park.
Εθνικός Κήπος (national botanical garden) is a park of 15.5 hectares in the center of Athens. The park is located next to the Greek Parliament and extends to the south by reaching Zappeion congress center.
Εθνικός Κήπος also encloses some ancient ruins, columns, mosaics, etc. In the south-east you can find the busts of Capodistrias, high Fillelinon Eynard and on the south side the bust of the national poet Dionysios Solomos and Aristotle Valaoritis.
The gardens were built in 1836 by Frederick Gkairtner (Friedrich von Gaertner), the architect of the palace in an area of approximately 500 acres.
The first Planters operations were organized and overseen by the Bavarian agronomist Smarat (Smarat) in 1839, where 15000 planted ornamental plants shipped from Genoa, as well as wild species.
The garden has continued to expand, and for this purpose they invited the Frenchman François Louis Bareaud, who took over the direction of the garden from 1845 until 1854.
The garden was renamed the National Garden in 1927 during the Republic. It is open to the public. There are seven entrances to the garden.
The national garden is a very nice place to visit and relax and give your feet a break.
We were there afret a trip to the Acropolis (August 2009) on a hot day.
Lockated near the Greeck parliament/Syntagma Sq.
Athens can be a very hot and polluted place in summer. The National gardens provide the perfect way for a traveller to escape these urban plagues and enjoy a bit of shade and greenery between the monuments. The gardens have a wide variety of flora and fauna, although they aren't arranged as exhibits of particular plant species. In the eastern section of the park is a small area with captive birds, especially peacocks (you'll hear them screech before you see the cages). If you're lucky, you'll be able to wander through while army recruits are doing their exercises in the park, and you can feel as if you are part of the military's training régime. Then again, you may want to avoid the military, given recent disturbances in Athens. In any case, the most likely ruckus you'll stumble on here is a petulant child who doesn't want to leave the ducks.
As you are walking through the center of Athens and Syntagma Square, you just seem to be in a big, old concrete city. But, just go around the corner of the Parliament Building and you will find yourself in about 40 acres of a peaceful, green refuge. It is a beautiful forested area with a duck pond, small zoo area, children's playground and library, and small cafe. At the south end is the Zappeion, across from the Panathenaiko or Kalimarmaro Olympic Stadium of the 1896 Olympic Games.
Not only is this a peaceful way to spend some time, but if you are here in the heat of summer, it is much cooler among the trees that out in the heat of the streets!
Athens is a busy city and sometimes you need a bit of peace. The National Garden (Ethnikos Kipos) is the perfect place if you are in the center. A place to rest after visiting the Acropolis, the Parliament or Plaka.
Among plenty of famous residents at Plaka you can find Lord Byron, a romantic poet. You may easily find a monument devoted to him at the entrance to the National Garden near the Arch of Adrian.
You may watch my high resolution photo of Athens on the Google Earth according to the following coordinates 37º 58' 15.04" N 23º 43' 59.73" E or on my Google Earth Panoramio Byron Statue in Athens.
The National Garden was originally laid out by Queen Amalia, wife of King Otto, and together with the adjoining Záppion garden it was the only large open space in Athens until the area extending from the Agora to the Hill of the Muses was laid out as a park in quite recent years.
The National Garden is located to the East of the Plaka area and North-East of the Parliament Building.
You may watch my high resolution photo of Athens on the Google Earth according to the following coordinates 37º 58' 20.95" N 23º 44' 5.45" E or on my Google Earth Panoramio National Garden .
You may watch my 2 min 27 sec VIDEO-clip Greece Athens Part I with popular music from the well-known film “For your eyes only” about James Bond.
For young men at least six feet tall, it is a great honor to become one of the Evzones, the primarily ceremonial Greek National Guard. They often wear the national costume seen above, which reflects makeshift uniforms of the Greek rebels who won independence from the Turkish Ottoman Empire in 1834. The skirt is supposed to have over 300 folds, one for each year that Turkey occupied Greece. Evzones guard all important government buildings and monuments in Athens, the Greek Capital. In addition to their distinctive uniforms.
Formerly the Royal Garden, you can visit this peaceful but kind of abandoned garden as it is open to the public till sunset every day. Small lakes with ducks, some swans, some rare trees and flowers, a small zoo and a small botanical museum are there but the locals say it’s a pity the authors left the gardens without serious attention for years. And we don’t have many large gardens in Athens so let’s hope they’ll change their minds soon…
Till then you can spend a relaxing walk inside and get away from the busy avenues. There isn’t any entrance fee and there are many entrances but most of the tourists use the one at Amalias Avenue which is closer.
Queen Amalia asked for it around 1838 and built by the german gardener Schmidt. You can enter through there and walk down to Zapeion building and then head to Panathiakon Stadium or visit the Arch of Hadrian. There is café inside the gardens so you can stop for a while…
Actually it is not really a Zoo but there are animals and kids just love looking at them.
There is peacocks, geese, chicken, rabbits, cats, fish, turtles and the biggest a donkey.... who replied to Emily -Princess_Emily- and me when we greeted him (or her) with a friendly "Iaaaaa"
In the heart of bustling Athens, you can escape from the traffic & people by walking into the National Gardens situated right behind the Greek Parliament Building. Commissioned by Amalia, the first Queen of Greece and built on 15.5 hectares of prime real estate, it borders the Syntagma Square & the Zappeion.
Upon entering, you are greeting by tall palm trees and explore further, you will find some ancient ruins, duck pond & a small zoo full of chickens (?) and a small cafe.
Admission is free
an oasis in this huge city.... a great escape from the traffic, crowd, sun, heat, bad air.... very refreshing and energizing :)))
don't miss to pay a visit to the turtles in the small lake, and the small zoo in the middle...
If you travel with children like we do you have to give them a break once in a while from to much sight seeing.
I had checked on VT before we left for tips and I stumbled across this information by Jim_Eliason.... thanks, it made things so much more easy!
We would spend the morning exploring the "rubble" and come to the park in the afternoon so Emily -Princess_Emily- could run off her energy.... we were dozing meanwhile in the shade!
What is great about it is that it is fenced in with only one entrance.... the kids can´t get lost. Also there is a hut at the entrance where parents can sit on benches and at tables and there is always a warden there, I guess he is keeping an eye on the place.
Another thing that is there and which most German playgrounds lack is a bathroom.... kids always need to go when there is no possibility but here you don´t have to "jump in the bushes"
National garden formally the royal garden
when there was a royal family in Greece
was completed in 1840 by queen Amalia
.A 16 hectares of green a relaxing and
peaceful place in the centre of Athens next to the Hellenic parliament