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Book Stoa (Stoa tou Vivliou) / Arsakeion girls’ school

Although Book Stoa/ Arsakeion girls' school is not one of the most famous buildings in Athens, it is of paramount importance.

  1. Modern and Contemporary era (1821 - )

    1846 The construction works began but stopped due to lack of funding.

    1852 Construction completion.

    1858 First expansion. Similar expansion works were also made in 1870 and 1898.

    1984 Until 1984, in the facade of the building there were shops which were demolished during 1984-1989, for the renovation of the building.

    1996 The Book Stoa is founded, while in the same decade the building hosts also the Council of the State.

  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

The former Arsakeion Girls’ School currently houses the Council of State, (i.e. the Supreme Administrative Court which assesses the legality of administrative acts). On the same block, there is the Book’s Stoa (Stoa Vivliou), which serves as a cultural centre and houses several bookshops. On the terrace of the building there is also a cafeteria. The facade is “one of the best compositions of neoclassical order in two-storey buildings”, according to Biris. In the pediment of the entrance there is a bust of Athena by sculptor Leonidas Drossis. The gallery is illuminated through an impressive central glass dome. 

What I can't see

The donation for the completion of the project was made by Apostolos Arsakis. The design was initially assigned to Stamatis Kleanthes, but he was ousted by Lyssandros Kaftanzoglou, which sparked a notorious feud between the two architects, culminating in the distribution of defamatory leaflets by both sides. During the expansion works to Stadiou Street, Nikolaos Dimadis gave the upper floors an intense baroque style, which was later dampened by Ernst Ziller when he became engaged with the project. Although it is not one of the most famous buildings in Athens, it is of paramount importance because it was the first girls’ school in the country and hosts a state and a cultural institution: the Council of State and the Book’s Stoa. It’s also where the Free University operates and where many students from Athens’ universities come to buy their textbooks. 


  • Address: 5 Pezmazoglou St. and 47-49 Panepistimiou/ El. Venizelou St.
  • Postal Code : 10564
  • Τηλέφωνο: +30 210 3253989, 3244538
  • Website:


Archaeology of the city of Athens, (d.u.), Αρσάκειο Παρθεναγωγείο, [Arsakeion girls’ school],

Last visit 10/12/2012


Stoa tou vivliou, Ιστορικά στοιχεία, [Historical data],

Last visit 10/12/2012


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