Presidential Mansion Garden Athens

Presidential Mansion Garden Athens

While Athens is commonly known for its historic ruins and vibrant culture, the Presidential Mansion Garden offers an entirely different experience — a peaceful, green retreat right in the heart of the city.

This little-known haven, boasting a history as rich as its flora, serves as an escape from urban noise, providing visitors an insight into a different facet of Greek life and history.

The History and Purpose

Surprisingly, the land where the Presidential Mansion Garden now sits served as the vegetable garden of the Royal Palace, now the Greek Parliament, throughout most of the 19th century. However, following the erection of the mansion in 1897 and the construction of Irodou Attikou Street, it was transformed into a 25,000 square meter ornamental garden.

Not just a simple landscape, the garden reflects Greek history and politics, serving as a natural extension to the mansion which has been an epicenter of power and governance for over a century.

Architecture and Design

The planning of the garden was possibly conducted by Ernst Ziller’s office, the same architects responsible for the mansion. The garden features a neo-classical design, in line with other contemporary Greek structures like the Academy, the University, and the Old National Library.

Upon entering the garden, one notices its strict geometric form influenced by French style, with symmetric beds of grass and seasonal flowering plants. This formality towards Irodou Attikou Street is balanced by the presence of perennial plane trees like lindens, palms, and cypresses.

The Two Sections

The garden is separated into two distinct sections, reflecting the slope of the land. The mansion is located in the upper section, which contains the aforementioned French-style design. A wide marble staircase leads down to the lower section, the larger of the two, with its own set of fascinating features. Here, a long path flanked by high cypresses leads to a pond and a pavilion, serving as the focal point of this area.

The lower section also maintains the strict symmetry with its grass lawns, stepped terraces, flower beds, and areas with trees and bushes.

Rich Botanical Composition

For those with a keen eye for botany, the garden is a trove of wonders. With around 140 species and varieties of ornamental trees, bushes, climbing plants, and other types of vegetation, the garden has something for everyone. Some of these plants are quite rare, and many of the trees, such as the cypresses, are more than a hundred years old, adding a layer of historical depth to this natural sanctuary.

Visit the Presidential Mansion Garden

In a city teeming with historical landmarks, the Presidential Mansion Garden stands as a quieter testament to Greece’s rich history and horticultural beauty. It serves not just as a garden but as an historical narrative, each plant and each design feature carefully chosen to reflect the intricate tapestry of Greek culture and governance.

A visit to this lush, 25,000 square meter garden offers a unique perspective on a city that continues to captivate imaginations around the world.