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Academy of Athens

The building of the Academy of Athens is of the era of late neoclassicism.

  1. Modern and Contemporary era (1821 - )

    1859 Beginning of the first construction phase, based on designs of Theophil Hansen

    1863 End of the first construction phase.

    1868 Beginning of the second construction phase.

    1887 Construction completion.

    1890 It was used as a Numismatic Museum.

    1914 It was used as a Byzantine Museum and home to the General State Archives.

    1926 Became home to the newly-founded Academy of Athens. Inaugurated on the 25th of March by the dictator Theodoros Pangkalos.

  2. Ottoman era (1453- 1821)

  3. Byzantine era (331 AC- 1453)

  4. Roman era (30 BC- 330 AC)

  5. Hellenistic era (322- 31 BC)

  6. Classical era (478-323 BC)

  7. Archaic era (800-479 BC)

  8. Geometric era (-1100- 800 BC)

  9. Prehistory (-1100 BC)

What I can see

It is a building of the era of late neoclassicism. It was designed by Theophil Hansen, and the construction was supervised by Ernst Ziller. It consists of three wings, with the central one mimicking the east wing of Erectheion and includes the conference room, which is designed to the standards of the plan of ancient temples. Moreover, its murals (by Christian Griepenkerl) depict the mythological cycle of Prometheus. It is made of Pentelic marble, founded in Piraeus stone. Although there are similar buildings in other countries of the world, this one seems warmer and more interesting, thanks to the fact that the shades and colours of the marbles are directly affected by the brightness of the sun, which in Greece is rich and abundant. In addition, this architecture is experienced completely differently at its birthplace in comparison to anywhere else.

What I can't see

The request to establish an academy had existed since the time of the Greek Revolution. The building was not originally used as the Academy. It was originally used as a Numismatic Museum and later as a Byzantine Museum and State’s Archive. When construction works began, it was considered an unnecessary luxury for the poor fledgling Greek state. Initially, many thought it needed to be situated near the classical antiquities but it was eventually built near the University. The intention of the first members of the academy, and especially of the astronomer Dimitrios Aeginitis, was for the academy to both coordinate higher education in Greece, and to advise the state on scientific issues. Since its opening, the Academy has brought together the elite of the Greek intelligentsia, it participated in international organizations, maintained 13 research centres, the Institute of Biomedical Research and the Institute of Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Studies of Venice. The Academy participated in the resistance against the German occupation and later, the military dictatorship (1967-1974).



Academy of Athens, Ιστορικό, [History]

Last visit 30/3/2012

Yohalas T., Kafetzaki Τ., (2013), Αθήνα, Ιχνηλατώντας την πόλη με οδηγό την ιστορία και τη λογοτεχνία [Athens, Tracing the city guided by history and literature], ESTIA Bookstore

Zivas D.A.., (2012), Αρχιτεκτονικός Οδηγός Αθηνών, [Architectural Guide of Athens], Cultural Foundation of Pireos Group

Krimpas K., (2003), Ανώτατη παιδεία, [Higher education], in Ιστορία του Νέου Ελληνισμού, 1770- 2000, [History of modern Hellenism, 1770-2000] v.7, p.p. 185-210

Bakas Α. (uploaded) (2012), Η ανακάλυψη της σύγχρονης αρχιτεκτονικής, [The discovery of contemporary architecture], Athens, Scribd

Bastea Ε (2008), Αθήνα 1834-1896, Νεοκλασική πολεοδομία και ελληνική εθνική συνείδηση, [Athens, 1834-1896, neoclassical urban planning and greek national conscious] Libro

Biris K. H. (1966), Αι Αθήναι από του19ου εις τον 20ον αιώνα, [Athens from the 19th up to the 20th century], 5th edition 2005, Athens, Melissa

Collective work, (1996), Athenian Classicism, Municipality of Athens

Technical Chamber of Greece, (2000), Athens, London, Paris, TCG,

Last visit 14/8/2020