Athens: Botanical Museum

athens botanical

We love to learn Greek but we also love to learn about important Greek buildings!

Situated in the heart of Athens, the National Gardens of the city is a great option for a getaway as their surrounding helps you “travel” far away from the noise of the city. Back in time, they used to be royal gardens, but now they are open to the public until sunset.

For the extra curious, there´s more than that. Hidden in the paths of these gardens you will find a building that is now the Botanical Museum and hosts a great variety of peculiar species of plants. On the building’s ground floor you will find a display of dried foliage from over 500 varieties of plants that have been planted in the National Gardens, drawings, and old photographs that reveal the history of the gardens. The upper floor displays a variety of decorative specimens and watercolors of plants painted by the botanist Kantartzis in 1856.

The museum was first built from 1802 to 1862 and it was used as a royal kiosk. It is a two-story neoclassical building with a beautiful marble entrance. In 1984 it turned into a Botanical Museum offering information about the functions of plants and their various categories.  

Let´s dig a bit more into the history of the building. When the first royal palace was built in Greece, Queen Amalia decided to create these gardens. King Otto who was a hunting enthusiast, noticed a particular point that had the potential for a hunting spot. Having hunted some birds there in the past, he decided to add a small building there to serve him for his hunting purposes. It was used for numerous occasions and was mostly abandoned after Otto´s reign. In 1984 it was converted into the Botanical Museum as we know it today. The name of the Royal Gardens was changed after the restoration of democracy in 1975. 

If you are planning to visit Greece and Athens soon do not forget to add the National Gardens and the Botanical Museum to your list. It would be a visit to remember.

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