Athens: Villa Amalia

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Back to the Greek capital for our Greek Buildings series. Right at its heart there is a very interesting building with great history. The historic 2nd High School of Athens also known as Villa Amalia, was built during the reign of King Otto sometime in 1862. A lot of people believe that the name, Villa Amalia, was unofficially given to the urban villa because someone had tried to murder the king’s wife, Amalia, there in 1861. However, this is just a coincidence.

In 1930 the building started housing one of the most historic boys’ high schools of Athens, the 2nd High School of Athens (2ο Γυμνάσιο Αθηνών). A lot of important Greek figures of the 20th century graduated from this high school. People like the lyricist Lefteris Papadopoulos, film director Theodoros Aggelopoulos, painter Alekos Fassianos and more. In 1975 the Greek state took ownership of the building which remained empty until 1990, when it became one of the most long-running Greek squats until 2012. 

The renovation of this important architectural element of Athens started in 2014 and finished in 2016. In September of the same year, Villa Amalia welcomed the students of the 67th High School of Athens and remains the school’s “home” to this day.

Read more about important Greek buildings here.

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