Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors
Search in posts
Search in pages

Old National Library

The Old National Library is one of the three buildings of the Athenian Trilogy.

  1. Modern and Contemporary era (1821 - )

    1887 Construction beginning.

    1902 Construction completion.

  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 Old National Library is one of the three buildings of the Athenian Trilogy. The main facade is divided into three parts, which give a sense of balance. Its lines are similar to the Academy’s, in order to achieve harmony in all three buildings and the facade is modeled on Temple of Hephaestus. It is made of Pentelic marble, founded in Piraeus stone. Falls into the category of late neoclassicism. Internally, there are many neoclassical elements. The reading room has a temple plan and is illuminated by a central skylight, which is flanked by ionic columns, inspired by the ionic columns of the Erechtheion.

What I can't see

In 1829, the Governor of Greece Ioannis Kapodistrias founded in Aigina the Public Library, which in 1834 was moved to Athens, near the Roman Agora. Due to limited space, however, it was decided that a new and larger library had to be built, a work that started with several decades delay. Several decades later, in 1884, the Prime Minister of Greece Harilaos Trikoupis decided that a new building had to be constructed to house the public library. The construction began with a donation of the Vallianos brothers, but was completed with public money. It was designed by Theophil Hansen and built under the general supervision of Ernst Ziller. The models of this building, like the rest of the Trilogy, are the ancient masterpieces of the same city. Therefore, the antiquities were not seen as romantic ruins or objects of archaeological research, but as architectural models. Today, the National Library has been transferred to the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre, and this building hosts some of its functions.


  • Address: 32 Panepistimiou/ El. Venizelou St.
  • Postal Code : 10679
  • Phone: +30 210 3382601
  • Website:


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

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

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

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

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

Last visit 14/8/2020